Five big cats live in Asia the tiger, the leopard, the clouded leopard, the snow leopard and the lion. All five are voracious hunters and feed exclusively on meat. They have large, forward-facing eyes and color vision, excellent hearing, sharp, razor-like teeth, and strong limbs.
Big cats are territorial creatures, and most of them are solitary predators, living secretively and remotely in a variety of habitats. Due to their crucial role as predators, recent population declines have conservationists concerned about both the loss of these species of big cats and the overall future of the ecosystems they inhabit.
If the current population decline is not halted, all three big cat species will disappear forever. Their possible extinction carries additional significance because the only real threat to their survival comes from humans. If they are eliminated from the wild it will be due to habitat destruction and degradation, and commercial over-exploitation.
Presently, the greatest threat to their survival comes from illegal poaching for their pelts and bones. Trade and poaching continue to be problems despite international and domestic protection. Without the intervention of strong conservation and anti-poaching efforts, the big cats will not survive.
Use of Big Cats in Traditional Medicine For more than a thousand years tiger bone has been used in traditional medicine (TM) throughout Asia. Tiger bone is believed to have an anti-inflammatory effect, particularly in cases of arthritis. Other parts of the tiger are used to treat various ailments as well, but tiger bone remains the most common usage. Over the years, as tigers have become increasingly difficult to find, other big cat species have been used as an alternative. Currently, all big cat species are considered acceptable alternatives to the use of tigers, and therefore they are all at risk despite protection under international law.
Current Status All big cat species are protected from commercial exploitation under international law. Despite their protected status, they continue to be illegally poached and traded at alarming rates. The most dramatic example of their tenuous existence may be seen in the decline of tiger populations. The number of tigers in the wild has dropped from more than 100,000 to approximately 4,800 to 7,300 individuals in the last century. During this period, three tiger subspecies were lost forever. The tiger%u2019s decline illustrates a pattern among big cats, which all share endangered status. If poaching and habitat destruction continue at the same rate, it is questionable as to which big cats will survive.
Major Conservation Threat Despite the lack of reported illegal trade in big cat parts and derivatives for TM, it is clear that the trade persists due to the continued decline in population numbers. Mass-produced TM products claiming to contain tiger bone continue to be available in consumer countries in spite of the international ban. Significant efforts to end the illegal trade must be implemented. In the end, it will be humans who will determine the fate of the big cats.
How You Can Help
- Always request herbal products made from non-endangered species (may include animals and/or minerals) when buying or being prescribed herbs from herbal practitioners.
- Support protection of big cat habitat and anti-poaching efforts.
Support sanctuaries for big cats.
Please sign the Petition and take a Moment to share it with your Friends.
we , the undersigned,
writing to urge you to protect the Lion, Tiger, Leopard, clouded Leopard, Snow Leopard.
Current Status All big cat species are protected from commercial exploitation under international law. Despite their protected status, they continue to be illegally poached and traded at alarming rates. The most dramatic example of their tenuous existence may be seen in the decline of tiger populations. The number of tigers in the wild has dropped from more than 100,000 to approximately 4,800 to 7,300 individuals in the last century. During this period, three tiger subspecies were lost forever.
Please save this wonderful Animals!
Thank you for taking the Time to read this Letter.