From icy cold mountains and forests to steamy, tropical jungles, the tiger species has adapted to a variety of terrain. Unlike lions, leopards and cheetahs, tigers prefer to live in densely covered land where they can hide in tall grasses, camouflaged by their dark stripes, and ambush their prey.
Tigers increasingly compete with expanding human population and industry for land and food, and many are killed by poachers who sell their skins and body parts as ingredients for traditional Chinese medicines.
If these trends continue,the wild tiger may evolve from being an endangered species and off the endangered species list to become an extinct species. Of the eight original subspecies of tigers, three have become extinct within the last 60 years; and there are less than 50 South China tigers left on this planet – few, and possibly none, survive in the wild. Despite 20 years of international conservation efforts, we are losing ground to save the tiger as, on the endangered species list, all sub-species of tigers are considered critically endangered species.
A few of the remaining endangered subspecies may survive only in zoos; others will live only in stories, pictures and myths, never again to roam the earth.