ナショナルジオグラフィック: Photo by Steve Winter @stevewinterphoto | It’s Global Tiger Day! Tigers are the most endangered and the largest of the big cats. There may be fewer than 3,600 individuals left in the wild. Scientists believe breeding populations occur in only eight countries, with 40 population strongholds across Asia. My tiger work for @natgeo magazine over the past 20 years has taken me to document them in places as wild as Kaziranga National Park in India and northern Sumatra in Indonesia. I see the same threats facing this iconic species: habitat loss, deforestation, and poaching for an increasing body-part trade in China, Laos, and Vietnam. When the demand for parts from wild and captive tigers stops, so too will the poaching of this beautiful cat.
The homes of the tiger and other big cat species are vitally important to all life on Earth—including us as humans. Forest’s provide up to 50 percent of the oxygen we need to breathe. Grasslands, forests, and mountains provide 75 percent of all freshwater on the planet. Two things that are vital to our existence. So if we can save big cats, we can help save ourselves.
Check out our Nat Geo tiger book: "Tigers Forever,” written by my wife, Sharon Guynup, who is a @natgeo writer and NG Explorer.