Beginner’s Guide to: ‘Why Save the Tiger’?


Beginner’s Guide to: ‘Why Save the Tiger’?

The world has so many ‘Days’ nowadays to bring focus, commemorate or remember, people, causes, events etc. International Tiger Day is one such ‘Day’ and upon being asked why the tiger is to be saved, one receives a very valid answer that, ‘the Tiger is an umbrella species’’. Correct!

But what does it actually mean? And how does it relate to humans?

So, lets begin with the Tiger’s home- the forests and jungles of various varieties. First up – we all know the benefits of trees and jungles. We’ll do a quick recap.

  • Jungles and trees soak up carbon dioxide and give us precious oxygen

  • Jungles help recharge ground water; in fact, practically all of Central India is sustained by Forest fed rivers and water bodies.

  • Jungles can cause changes in the atmosphere – bringing us rain.

  • Jungles stop flooding and soil erosion.

  • Many medicines and so many of our needs are met by forests.

  • Jungles keep the earth cool and fight global warming

  • Forests are home to animals & they are therapeutic to visit.

  • Trees help clean toxic air and water.

The benefits are innumerable, but you get the gist.
If we want to save the Tiger- we have to ensure its habitat and availability of food and water. Since tigers are carnivores or meat eaters, we have to ensure that the jungles have a good number of herbivores or deer, antelopes and other animals the tiger can feed on.

In order to keep a healthy number of these animals, we have to ensure that they too have enough to feed on and water to drink. Which means we have to save grasslands and forests.

The birds and insects help in seed dispersal of trees and plants and are pollinators too. Even the little earthworm has a precious role to play – by turning the soil inside out and making it more fertile. The termites help turn fallen trees. Leaves and branches back into soil.  And so, the list goes on. Each creature on this planet & in its own environment has a vital role to play. We have already discussed the benefits of forests.

Let us now hark back to our original topic – Why Save the Tiger? It is because the Tiger is but a symbol of this entire network of an ecosystem. If we save the tiger, we save it all. And last but not the least, if we want water to drink and oxygen to survive; we need the Tiger.