The IUCN Red List lists the primary reasons for tiger’s current position on the Endangered Species list as poaching and habitat destruction.
Tiger hunting and habitat decimation are the major reasons. Tigers are hunted for their furs, claws and teeth, which are a source of pride for the hunter. Tiger whiskers, penises, eyes and bones are also considered medicines or aphrodisiacs in some cultures, which also contributes to poaching. Humans also destroy tiger populations by cutting down trees, polluting, and by hunting the animals that tigers need to feed upon.
While there is some loss of habitat, tigers are mostly endangered because there is a black market for them. Not only do people want exotic pets (yes, some people have tigers), some believe that some parts of the tiger have medicinal properties. And, of course, their skins are prized.
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