The 20th century saw the extinction of three species of tigers. Five species remain and of those, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History estimates that, as of 2009, around 6,000 tigers remained in the wild. Without conservation efforts, the tiger may one day be seen only in zoos.
Tigers live in a number of habitats, including mountains, rain forests and deciduous forests. Tigers gravitate toward forests because of the water source, cover and the ample supply of animals such as deer on which to prey.
The vast majority of wild tigers live on the continent of Asia. As of 2009, most wild tigers were in India.
Tigers in the wild require a close water source as well as prey, room to hunt and shelter from weather elements.
Tigers are carnivores, or meat eaters. They will go where the food source is, surviving on the meat of deer, pigs and other forest-dwelling creatures.
The last Sunday in September has been declared “Tiger Day.” The aim of Tiger Day is to raise awareness of the decreasing tiger population and to inspire the kind of changes that would protect tiger habitats.