July 29th is celebrated annually as International Tiger Day, to raise awareness about these gorgeous, majestic – and endangered – creatures! I love tigers and often celebrate them through my art. In this post, I’ll be sharing some of my tiger art with you, as well as some fun facts about tigers and notes on their conservation.
Fun Fact: Tigers have been around for over 2 million years
International Tiger Day was started in 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia, when it was discovered that 97% of wild tigers had vanished since the beginning of the 20th century.
Several countries, including India, Russia, and China, pledged to protect tigers. Thirteen tiger range countries collaborated to form TX2 and committed to doubling the tiger population by 2022, which was the Chinese year of the tiger.
To read more about TX2, check out the World Wildlife Fund’s TX2 page HERE.
Fun Fact: Their stripe patterns are all unique, just like human fingerprints!
Fun Fact: Unlike most cats, tigers love to swim!
Some Conservation Highlights
In India, Project Tiger, which was started in the early 1970s, with 268 tigers now has over 3000! This great news also illustrates how tied together issues of ecology and conservation are because, with the growing number of tigers in the wild, one now has to address issues of habitat and prey loss and the potential for tigers to enter spaces with humans more and more. Some of the ways this is being addressed is to look at development through a lens of ecological preservation: for example, creating safe passages for tigers and other wildlife when highways are built and preserving large swaths of natural habitat.
As we celebrate the good news, we also need to keep in mind that there is still a way to go. On average, two tigers are rescued from traffickers very week and there are still more tigers in captivity than in the wild.
To learn more about ways help tigers, check out legitimate nature organizations, such as the World Wildlife Fund for more info and resources.
Fun Fact: India has the greatest number of wild tigers, and this makes up over half the tiger population of the world!