Why do we need to save Tigers?

The Tiger in Kanha

Tiger resting after a hunt in Kanha National Park - Photo: Ashish Singh

My previous blog talked about how to save tigers. But now I feel that there was something missing. I was asking myself – “Why anyone would be interested to save tigers when they don’t know why to save Tigers?”

The Tiger is not just another predator in wildlife, but it is also a pivotal indicator of ecosystem balance. Being at the apex of the food chain, Tigers are necessary to keep a check on the herbivorous population and hence the vegetation, on which they feed.

But again! Can’t this balance be maintained by other predators like leopards or wild dogs? The jungle is a place where each and everything, whether animal, bird or plant, has its own place, purpose and role in maintaining the ecosystem balance. Leopards or other predators hunt mostly smaller animals (with few exception that can’t be counted), whereas well grown Tigers are capable of bigger hunts. So their role cannot be ignored.

So what? We – the intelligent human – can kill those big herbivores and can keep a check on their population. Dude – we don’t even have a complete ecosystem map of our jungle, how could we know what is the right ratio of big herbivores for balance. Remember that when the dodo was extinct we lost some species of calvarias trees. And if we can’t even keep population of invasive beavers in control in the province of Tierra Del Fuego in southern Argentina, how do we think that we can control other things in the untamed jungle?

It is not just about Tigers. Saving Tigers is saving jungles. Jungles are our water catchment. So we are not only ensuring that these beautiful animals are saved but also our source of clean air, drinkable water, global warming regulator and much more.

Jungles not only have environmental incentives for us but also monetary incentives. I am not talking about the “blood money” from animal hide and bone, but about the “green money” that these jungles may create from tourism. For example, Kenya generates roughly $500 million which accounts to 14% of GDP.

Therefore, Tigers are an integral part of our earth ecosystem. It is not that they need us to save them but we need them to save our planet and ourselves. I do believe that if we don’t take the “save our tiger” initiative seriously now, it will not be long before we end up with a “save ourselves” initiative. So if we want our children to enjoy a beautiful planet with clean and healthy environment to grow up in then – Let the Tiger Live!

Please let me know in comments what you think about saving Tigers. Do you too think that we really need to save Tigers? Or you think otherwise? If you liked the idea, please spread  words through linking or mentioning this blog in your blog, facebook, tweeter, orkut, gtalk status or anything.

PS: Special Thanks to PTO who helped spreading the message about “How can we save Tiger?
Image Credit: Ashish Kumar Singh

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Comment (1)

  1. Soni wrote::

    Change is inevitable.

    Sunday, April 18, 2010 at 12:12 pm #