Wednesday, January 25, 2017

ENDANGERED SPECIES DAY

Today we are participating in the Endangered Species Challenge sponsored by Louis, the blogging dog, of Louisdog's Life.  Louis is the director of Blogville's Arts and Entertainment Department.

The point of this challenge is to increase awareness of how so many of our anipal brothers and sisters are in danger of completely disappearing from the earth. If a community of dogs and cats write about it, maybe the whole world will take notice!

For our endangered species, we chose the Siberian Tiger, also knows as the Amur tiger.



We had a great time visiting with these two beautiful Siberian Tigers.  Let's learn a little more about them and why they are an endangered species.



THE SIBERIAN TIGER

It is estimated the wild population of Siberian tigers at around 350-450 tigers.
Almost all wild Siberian tigers live the Southeast corner of Russia in the Sikhote-Alin mountain range east of the Amur River. Their former range included northeastern China and the Korean Peninsula, and as far west as Mongolia. They are the largest of the tiger species and can grow up to 13 feet in length and weigh up to 700 lbs.
The Siberian –or Amur- tiger is considered a critically endangered species with the primary threats to its’ survival in the wild being poaching and habitat loss from intensive logging and development.
Tigers are most commonly poached for their fur and for their body parts used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is estimated that in 1991 alone, one-third of the Siberian tiger population was killed to meet the demand for their bones and other parts used in this practice. This even though the practice is now unlawful in China.
In 1993 the State Council of the People’s Republic of China issued a notice declaring the use of tiger bone for medicinal purposes to be illegal. The Chinese government encouraged the Ministry of Public Health and the pharmaceutical companies to seek substitute medicines for tiger parts.
However, because it is such a lucrative trade –a single tiger can bring up to $50k on the International market- the practice is still flourishing.
The other vital concern for the survival of the Siberian tiger in the wild is habitat loss.
Research has demonstrated the Siberian tigers require vast forest landscapes to survive. However logging, both legal and illegal is threatening the tigers home by fragmenting their habitat thereby isolating them from each other. In addition, the continuous creation of new logging roads provide poachers with access to formerly remote areas.
So in essence, for the Siberian tiger to survive in the wild, and no longer be considered an endangered species, two things must happen. First, habitat encroachment must stop and secondly, the thousands of years old tradition of using tiger parts for medicinal purposes must also end.
With the tiger being the largest of the big cats, the Siberian Tiger has a very prestigious title. This is because it is also the largest of the different tiger species. As their name indicates they are found in Siberian. Unfortunately that is their only natural habitat remaining as they have been destroyed in Asia and Russia over the years. What is very scary is that they are very genetically close to other species of tigers that have already become extinct. This tends to lead one to expect that is the future for them as well.
Today they are found in the higher mountain areas where they are far away from humans. Those that used to live in the lower levels have either been destroyed by humans through hunting or by them clearing out the forest areas. Finding adequate supplies of food though at these higher levels can prove to be extremely difficult. They tend to consume wild boars and certain types of deer that are found in these thick forest areas. 

There are very few accounts out there of the Siberian Tiger attacking humans in any type of setting. However, due to their size and their appearance many people find them to be intimidating. In 2007 one did escape from a zoo in California and kill a person that had been pestering the tiger throughout the day. This got a great deal of media attention and gave the impression that these particular tigers seek out feeding upon humans but that isn’t true at all.
This particular tiger can be up to 10.5 feet long and weight about 650 pounds. This makes the equivalent to a man that is 6 feet tall. They are extremely fast animals with colorful stripes on them. They are extremely strong and powerful which is why the Siberian Tiger is often found as a symbol in popular culture. Yet this also makes them a huge trophy for some hunters that want the thrill of finding such an animal that they can kill.

Both hunting and poaching of them continues to be a concern. In the isolated areas out there though it is hard to make sure such actions don’t occur. There isn’t enough manpower to continually keep hunters and poachers out of the areas where the Siberian Tiger is found.
A huge problem for the future of Siberian tigers though due to low numbers is their genetic profile. This particular species has very little variation as it is when it comes to distinctive genetic factors. So when you are also talking about populations out there in the wild that are very closely related you run into even larger problems. Inbreeding can result in offspring that is very poor genetically and this isn’t going to help them with their quest for survival.

While they do breed in captivity very well, the issue becomes the quality of the offspring and not just the number of them. Helping to preserve the overall good genetics of this breed of Tiger is very important. In China there are many areas where Siberian Tigers are carefully bred in an attempt to get more diversity in their genetic pool. Hopefully these types of experiments will be useful for them in their overall survival and the quality of this species of tiger.
Hopefully the information we have about other species of tigers including those that are now extinct will help the Siberian Tiger to be one that survives. There are only a few hundred of them remaining in the wild today. It is going to take a great deal of action from many organizations out there in order to help keep this species of tiger alive.

We hope our study of the Siberian Tiger was of interest to you.

Woos - Lightning and Misty

19 comments:

Mark Muller said...

that was a super post about our big feline friends in siberia... I hope once we will change our habits and our way to destroy our planet and we will respect the natural habitats of the wildlife... I only hope we will do that soon, before it is too late...

Kinley Westie said...

My momma LUVS tigers. Da big cats are her favorite wild animals - well, dat and dolphins.

Molly and Mackie said...

What a great post! The Siberian Tiger is such a beautiful kitty!

Marg said...

That was such a great post. Those Tigers are just gorgeous. They have a kind eye too. We hope something can be done to help save their environment. It was interesting to learn all this.

Julie said...

Aren't they majestic!!! I didn't nose they were called Amur Tigers as well, they are such beautiful animals….just look at the size of their paws!
Loves and licky kisses
Princess Leah xxx

Two French Bulldogs said...

Those are beautiful animals.
Lily & Edward

Murphy said...

Good choice! Is that tiger in your backyard with yous?

Your Pals,

Murphy & Stanley

Sketching with Dogs said...

It is so sad what we humans are doing to the planet and animals in particular. If we were the ones to become extinct it would be a lot better for everything else.
Lynne x

Caren Gittleman said...

I just adore Siberian Tigers and am thrilled that you featured them!
DakotasDen

Millie and Walter said...

It's been interesting reading about all the endangered species today. We hope the awareness helps keep them alive.

Christmas said...

What a cool species!

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

Louis D. Armstrong really had a grand Idea when he came up with this. We all want to help the animals that are IN Danger of Becoming Extinct.
THANKS fur pawticipating.

Louis the Blogging Dog said...

Thanks fur pawticipating in the challenge! The Siberian Tigers are such buautifur, impawtant kitties!
Your Furend
Louis Dog Armstrong

Brian said...

Those really are some special kitties! Great post gang!

Dory and the Mama said...

What a great post!! Thanks for sharing this beautiful animal with us!!
Smileys!
Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

Charliedownunder said...

Crikey ..... thanks for telling us all about those tiger blokes. They are my Mum's VERY FAVOURITE animal in the whole world. Well except for me of course. Some people say I look like a tiger but a white one not like those Siberian blokes. How good was Louis to come up with this. I've learnt heaps today about so many critters.

The Daily Pip said...

Tigers are some of my favorite big cat! It so sad that there are so few left and I absolutely hate to hear about poaching of wild animals of any kind. Although I am fairly familiar with the plight of tigers, I had no idea about the genetic issue. Very interesting and I hope the program in China proves effective.

Alasandra, The Cats and Dogs said...

What an informative post. We love Siberian Tigers and are very sad that some people want to hurt them.

Melon said...

That was a great read, Lightning and Misty, very well organised! Didn't know you two were such great scholars :-)