International Tiger Day Draws Attention To Uncertain Future Of The Biggest Of All Cats

Every July 29 is International Tiger Day day in which conservationists worldwide celebrate the regal cat and work to preserve its future.

International Tiger Day was created in 2010 in St, Petersburg. Russia. International tiger conservationists set a goal of doubling the world’s wild tiger population by 2022. “TX2” has not met that goal. but all countries with recent tiger populations have agreed to work toward the goal.

angry animal big carnivore
Panthera tigris thrives in many climates. Including Siberian snow. Photo by Pixabay on

International Tiger Day 2023 saw a mixed bag of news. Some experts believe the world’s wild tigers have increased in numbers by up to 40 percent. Others are not so sure. Some believe that the “increase” is simply a result of the attention placed on tigers. That has led to better counting. Others suspect that some governments have “cooked the books” at various points in the recent past.

Panthera and other conservation groups celebrate the day yearly.

There seems to be broad agreement that the world’s wild tigers number roughly 5,000. As a matter of interest, it is also believed that that number of tigers live in captivity in the United States alone.

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Tigers were mainstays of traditional circuses from Roman times. The big top and tiger acts have gone out of fashion in most f the world. Photo by sergio souza on

There are 13 countries that are considered tiger habitat. They are China, Russia, India, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaya, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. India, Nepal, Russia and Bhutan have reported success in increasing tiger numbers. Tigers are holding on in Indonesia, Malaya, Thailand and Bangladesh. There probably are tigers in Myanmar, but their numbers are conjectural. They are most likely extinct in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. China is a special case. The mainland Chinese tiger is probably extinct. However, China appears to have a small population of Amur (Siberian) tigers. The governments of China and Russia are beginning to cooperate in a effort to save that species, the largest of the living tigers.

Tigers vanished in Bali and Java in the 20th Century. The Caspian tiger (closely related to the Amur tiger) has not been seen since 1970.

Tigers face many threats including poaching. This tiger with an injured leg was caught on a Thai trail camera. Rescuers tried to save the injured cat from poachers. It has not been reported if they succeeded. International Tiger Day seeks to help the cats survive,

Current rough estimates of Tiger numbers put India in first place with up to 3,000. Russia has about 540 Siberian tigers, Indonesia has about 500 on Sumatra, Nepal has about 355. There are thought to be 106 in Bangladesh and just over 100 in Bhutan. China has a pocket of Amur tigers thought to number 50. Malaysia has about 150 and Thailand about 189. The numbers for Myanmar are unreliable but low. Tigers are considered at least functionally extinct in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Published by ursusrising

long time writer and editor living in Los Angeles

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