HABITAT DESTRUCTION – In an article from Science Daily, we learn that “India was once considered the greatest stronghold for tigers, [yet] recent reports [have them] completely disappearing from some of their core tiger reserves”. In previous works, I did research about noise pollution in the country of India. Unfortunately, sound waves travel much further than perhaps we’d like, which in turn, drives animals further away, and gives way for humans to further develop even more land. A non-stop cycle, this is a form of habitat destruction/loss that fuels its own perpetual motion. In a similar fashion, I can confidently say that the Siberian Tigers that we observed in the National Geographic Special were probably driven to the Eastern portion of Russia as a result of the country’s industrialization further inland to the West.
INVASIVE SPECIES/POPULATION – Unconventional as it may be, perhaps it’s relevant to think of our own species as being invasive towards the Siberian Tigers, especially in terms of habitat loss.
POLLUTION – Pollution and environmental irregularity contributes to global warming and unpredictable weather patterns. Many of the world’s colder regions (like the one “our” tigers call home) are experiencing changes including glacial melting and longer, hotter summers. This in turn, gives a longer season to pests like mosquitoes, ticks and other parasites that can carry diseases not only to tigers, but to us as well.
OVERHARVESTING – Sadly, tigers have been the victims of poachers seeking their valuable furs for eons. Pointless. Hunters also have a long running obsession with killing the great beasts. Unfortunately, these men have somehow, some way come to believe that killing an animal with a machine is a reflection of greatness. I, ironically, have never heard of anyone actually eating a tiger!
Description of species requiring special attention
ENDANGERED/THREATENED – The Siberian Tiger is currently considered threatened. There are merely hundreds of them in totality. I guess this would technically be considered endangered.
KEYSTONE – Although few in numbers, if the Siberian Tiger disappeared today (knock on wood), researchers of the area would certainly notice a significant difference from yesterday’s biosphere. The tiger’s primal nature is evident from the video we watched in class. Prey would definitely run amuck following its decline.
INDICATOR – We learned from the video that the Siberian Tiger’s paws have developed “robust” paws that act as snow shoes in the Siberian snow. If we spotted one inland, perhaps where there was no snowfall, we could very well say that its large paws are indicative of an animal that lives in a snowy region. (not to mention it’s coloration!)
UMBRELLA – A single tiger requires a very large amount of territory to call its own. I remember the video saying that the two “captive” tigers were given something like 6 acres just between the two of them!
FLAGSHIP – These tigers are absolutely beautiful. This is apparent in how many worldwide organizations are willing to contribute time, money and effort into its protection. I don’t see people doing this for endangered species of ants or even certain plants! Shame shame!