International tiger day is also known as World Tiger Day. The day is dedicated to the beautiful big cat, i.e., tiger. Tiger is an important species of the animal kingdom. It plays a vital role in the food chain and to maintain balance in the ecosystem.
Unfortunately, this amazing animal has become threatened due to various reasons such as poaching & illegal trades, loss of habitat, climate change, increase in tourism activities, some kind of diseases, etc. These threats have increased the risk factor of the extinction of tigers across the world. Therefore, the world tiger day was observed the first time in 2010 to deal with the decline in the tiger population.
World Tiger Day History
World tiger day came into existence in 2010 in an international summit, i.e., Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit held in Russia to encourage the efforts of tiger conservation. In the summit, the declaration was issued by them, and governments of tiger-populated countries vowed to double the population by 2020.
Since 2010, we celebrate the day on 29th July every year to raise awareness about the protection of tigers and their habitat as well. Every year many animal organizations like WWF, IFAW, and the Smithsonian Institute, organize various events to celebrate the day.
- World Tiger Day 2010
This day started in 2010, many motivated countries took the initiative for tiger conservation, especially 13 countries. These 13 countries are- Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, China, Vietnam, Bhutan, Russia, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, and Nepal.
These 13 countries came together to create Tx2, i.e. to achieve a global goal to double the number of tigers by 2022.
- World Tiger Day 2011
This was just the beginning of the global tiger day that was declared in 2010. The day was an excellent opportunity to highlight the work done by WWF conservationists in 11 Asian countries to save tiger programs.
WWF’s efforts for tiger protection are showing positive results. The studies done since March 2011 showed the improvements in the number of tigers:
- The number of tigers was increased to 25 in Bhutan’s Manas National Park.
- Overall population of this big cat was increased by almost 25% in comparison to the previous survey done in 2006 (including Manas National Park).
- International Tiger Day 2012
Tigers were the part of a country’s heritage; hence it was our responsibility to conserve these big cats for us and our future generations. The tiger-range countries took part in world tiger day, organizing various events and activities.
India, being the leader in the population of wild tigers, took the initiative to protect this species. The country took several measures to celebrate the day, such as guidelines for tiger safaris to minimize pressures of ecotourism, aerial surveillance, preserve their habitats, smart patrolling, conservation of its population, etc.
- International Tiger Day 2013
It is quite surprising to know that there were more tigers in captivity than in the wildlife. The area of 13 tiger-populated countries of Asia is a vast area for wild tigers to live, but unfortunately, very few numbers (close to 3000) are roaming in the wilds. The fact is that we have lost almost 97% of a wild tiger in the last 100 years.
In 2013, in Kunming, China, the 13 tiger-range countries marked the 3rd international tiger day. They launched the new phase of implementation of their GTRP (Global Tiger Recovery Program) for tiger conservation.
- International Tiger Day 2014
In 2014, IUCN started the Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation program with the support of German Govt. and in partnership with the German Development Bank KfW. The projects that will be run under this program will focus on monitoring the population of the tiger & its prey, securing habitat for them.
However, tiger-populated countries were improving their tiger conservation projects. These countries were dedicated to the Tx2 goal to double the number of tigers. For example- India (which is a home for almost 60% of the world’s wild tiger population) was continually improving in the number of this big cat. In 2006, the numbers of tigers in India were 1,411, and in 2010 it increased up to 1,706, and in 2014 the number of tigers was 2,226.
- World Tiger Day 2015
This was the 5th consecutive year the world was celebrating the annual event. The day was celebrated with various awareness activities in WWF-India’s priority landscapes in 2015.
WWF-India chose local communities and children as a platform to raise awareness about tiger conservation. Many drawing & quiz competitions, skits, dance performances were organized to mark the day.
A big morning rally consisting of 600 students from 10 schools wearing tiger masks with posters & banners at Madanpur range, near Valmiki Tiger Reserve, also highlighted the celebrations on 29th July 2015.
- International Tiger Day 2016
The year 2016 was marked the halfway of the ambitious Tx2 goal. This year was quite exciting and most united to celebrate the day. Many organizations, govt. Officials, WWF offices, celebrities, and individuals across the globe came forward to support the “ThumbsUpForTigers Campaign.” This campaign got worldwide support. It shows the unity of the world to support tiger-populated countries appreciating their tiger protection efforts and encouraging for Tx2 goal.
- World Tiger Day 2017
On the 7th international tiger day celebration, celebrities Megan Fox and Zachary Quinto took part in raising awareness through social media. They removed their profile photo on social media and reappeared with a tiger selfie created on 3980 tigers.com to convey the plight of wild tigers due to illegal activities.
The campaign #3890tigers was established out of a partnership between WWF and Tiger Beer. WWF also has a partnership with Discovery for fundraising to conserve almost one million acres of protected habitat for wild tigers in India and Bhutan.
Many celebrities like Heidi Klum, Freida Pinto, Leonardo DiCaprio, Adriana Lima, Ellen DeGeneres, and Mark Hamill also raised them to support Project CAT (Conserving Acres for Tiger) to celebrate the day.
- World Tiger Day 2018
WWF shared the good news in 2016, stating that the wild tiger population has been increased up to 3,900. India planned to conduct a census exercise in 2018 to estimate the tiger population every four years that was even completed in 2006, 2010 and 2014.
The result of the All-India Tiger Estimation that was conducted in 2018 to census the number of tigers was quite impressive. The number jumped from 2,226 in 2014 to 2,967 in 2018.
- International Tiger Day 2019
The day is celebrated every year on 29th July under the slogan “Their Survival is in our hands.” There was a time when over 100,000 tigers were roaming on the planet and now the time has come we have to run conservation programs to save this incredible species for its existence.
On international tiger day 2019, the Wildcats Conservation Alliance addresses the world “to do the right thing” and donate their contributions to the organization. The donations were gone entirely to the tiger conservation projects to tackle wildlife crimes, training & supporting Anti-Poaching Units, etc.
- International Tiger Day 2020
The worldwide event for raising awareness for tiger protection is very close. Only a few weeks left to celebrate the day on 29th July 2020.
This year marked the final year of the declaration issued by the summit in 2010 to double the number of tigers by 2020 in tiger-populated countries. Let’s hope for the best to see the results.
However, this year the world is going through a global crisis of COVID 19. Still, you can be a part of the celebration as and when the activities are organizing in your country to support world tiger day.
How can we celebrate International Tiger Day?
An international tiger day is a global event that is celebrated every year for tiger conservation. People across the world organize different activities to show their support for the day. You can also be a part of the celebration. These are some ideas to celebrate the events.
- You can plan a jungle safari to experience the life of tigers in their habitat.
- You can even plan a trip to the zoo with your children so that they can understand the importance of conservation of tigers.
- If you are not able to spot the tiger personally! No worries. You can spend some quality moments watching tigers onscreen. Many movies have picked yellow stripes in an amazing character. Such as Life of Pi
- Some animated movies like Madagascar 3, Ice Age, The “Tigger” Movies, etc. are amazing enough to grab the attention of the kids.
- Do you like to host parties? Well, you can plan an adventurous party with jungle-theme to educate people about wildlife conservation, especially kids.
- You can involve your child in an art & craft activity (such as making a paper tiger or a soft toy of a tiger) to celebrate the day.
- Social media is an excellent platform to spread awareness about tiger protection.
- You can also share some knowledge with your friends or family about tiger protection and success stories of the tiger-populated countries.
- Schools can also participate by organizing different activities like quiz, play, dance performances, etc.
- Several projects and campaigns are going on for tiger conservation. You can volunteer for any of these and can also donate for welfare efforts.
World Tiger Day Conclusion
Tiger has always been a favorite character of our childhood stories. A tiger is a symbol of courage that motivates us to compete for the world with courage. If the tiger population continues to decline, our children will not be able to see the majestic creature of the animal kingdom.
The only medium for our children to see the tiger will be available through books, magazines, or digital modes, etc. Hence, we should put our hands together to support world tiger day for the conservation of this wonderful species.