The Bengal Tiger is the second largest cat species alive today, but it is very threatened by hunting. Unfortunately, this is not an unusual occurrnce. All five species of tiger are endangered. To protect the Bengal tiger, strict international legislation preventing their hunting needs to be put into place, and public education about their plight must be more widespread. In China, tiger body parts are sold as medicinal products. To combat this, education needs to go beyond the Western countries and reach these places where tiger products are acceptable.
Also, habitat protection must be increased. As humans have encroached further and further onto tiger habitats, the populations of tigers have drastically decreased.
Yes, habitat expansion and poaching reduction are two key steps, but these are not easy tasks. There already are laws that make it illegal to kill Bengal Tigers, but they need to be better enforced. In order for poachers to re-evaluate the cost-benefit risk of the money gained from poaching a tiger vs the punishment if getting caught, there needs to be tighter enforcement, which means more money devoted to employing forest guards. Since most of the demand for tiger parts comes from China, perhaps a focused effort to reduce the demand for Tiger bones in Chinese medicine is needed. While broad sweeping education is important for other reasons, I think it will do little to preserve the Bengal Tiger. At this point, very focused efforts directed towards strategic players is what is required.
If you are looking for a more immediate way to help, there are a few “Adopt an Animal” programs with Bengal Tigers available. For a certain amount of money a month, you can help the organization in suporting the life of a tiger and contribute to the research being done to keep them alive. Below are just two of many links to adopt a bengal tiger:
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