February 14th, 2009

Animals---Rainbow bear

45\365--Endangered Animals Week

Today's the last day of Endangered Animals Week. Today's animal is my very favorite big kitty...

The Siberian Tiger! It is the biggest of the tiger species and can only be found in the Amur region in the far east. I guess it shares it's habitat with another animal this week; the Amur Leopard. There are only about 370-500 of these gorgeous tigers left in the wild, 95% of them in far east Russian (as opposed to northeast China). Habitat loss, prey depletion, and poaching are the three major reasons for this tiger's decline. In the 40' these tigers were nearing extinction, there was only about 40 left in the wild. Because of anti poaching and conservation effects these tigers were able to make a comeback. This gives me hope for the Amur Leopard which has dwindled down to about 40 animals. There's breeding programs for the tigers and while the 'orange' tigers are breeding well, the white tigers are in trouble due to severe inbreeding. Hopefully both the orange and the white Siberian tigers can be saved with healthy breeding and effective conservation efforts.