Today is National Cat Day and, although this day is usually dedicated to our domestic feline friends, we wanted to take this opportunity to raise awareness of some of today’s most endangered big cat species around the world.
This species is critically endangered and, with as few as 70 remaining in the wild, it is the rarest and most endangered big cat in the world. They can run at speeds of up to 37 miles an hour and have been reported to jump over 19 feet horizontally and up to 10 feet vertically.
They can be found around the border areas between the Russian Far East and North-East China within a range smaller than 2,500sq km – an area smaller than Dorset!
South China Tiger
With an estimated 4,000 in the wild in the early 1950s, South China tigers were hunted as pests and are now considered to be ‘functionally extinct’ as they have not been sighted in the wild for more than 25 years.
The smallest surviving tiger subspecies and the last of Indonesia’s tigers, less than 400 remain on the island of Sumatra. Deforestation and poaching are to blame for the species critically endangered species.
This endangered tiger species, also known as the Siberian tiger, can be found in the Sikhote-Alin rane in the Primorski and Khabarovsk provinces of the Russian Far East, small pockets in the border areas of China and potentially North Korea.
The population fell to less than 40 in the 1940s when hunting had driven the species almost to extinction but was saved when Russia became the first country in the world to grant the tiger full protection. There are now only as many as 540 of these tigers in the wild.
Found primarily in India with smaller populations in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Myanmar, this endangered species is the most numerous of all tiger subspecies with over 2,500 in the world.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, although this paints a pretty depressing picture there are charities raising money to help protect these endangered species. For example you can adopt a big cat at WWF, donate to Big Cat Rescue or just find out more about these big cats and see how you can help spread the word.
In true National Cat Day style we wanted to sign off with a cute picture which will, hopefully, raise your spirits after reading this blog post…
Information from WWF.