THE BLOG
07/16/2010 10:53 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Show Your Stripes and Help Save Wild Tigers

The world's most majestic big cat is in major trouble.

Tigers have long been one of the most intimidating and captivating creatures in the animal kingdom. Unfortunately, they are no match for poachers or the destruction of their natural habitats and are now facing extinction. Note these startling statistics:

  • The population has fallen by about 95% over the past 100 years. There may be as few as 3,200 tigers left in the wild, down from 100,000 a century ago.
  • Within the past 70 years, three tiger subspecies (the Bali, Caspian and Javan) have become extinct. The six remaining subspecies are endangered and threatened by poaching and severe habitat loss.
  • Today, tigers are found in only seven percent of their historic range of habitat

Though the outlook is sobering, there is hope. Now is the time to dig in, take a stand and fight to protect these animals.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has rolled out a series of interactive tools that offer simple ways for people to get involved with wild tiger protection. Coinciding with WWF's "Year of the Tiger" campaign, where the goal is to double tiger populations by the next "year of the tiger" in 2022, our Texting for Tigers promotion provides an easy way for individuals to help protect and preserve the world's diminishing tiger population. By texting "TIGERS" to 20222 from a cell phone, a $10 donation will be made to support WWF's tiger conservation efforts.

Texting is just the start; there are other easy ways to show your conservation support, including a new Facebook application where you can add tiger stripes, paw prints, or a tiger head to your profile photo.

Conservation efforts do work. Tiger poaching and habitat destruction can be stopped with a well-funded global effort to protect the homelands for wild tigers, and by cracking down on the black markets that sell illegal tiger parts. WWF has learned that tigers grow and prosper when their isolated habitats are preserved and reconnected. Our scientists have identified the most important of these habitats and know what needs to be done to protect them and the tiger populations that live there. With proper safeguards in place, we can double the number of wild tiger populations by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger.

With the tiger population shrinking more and more every day, the need for all of us to earn our stripes and save this species from extinction is immediate. WWF is urging everyone to join the fight to protect these treasured creatures. The texting campaign provides a quick and easy way for people to directly aid tiger conservation and support WWF's work with local communities in the 13 countries with wild tiger populations around the world.

Conservation doesn't just happen on the ground, it happens in our homes, online, and through the continued support of environmentally conscious individuals around the world committed to solving environmental problems.

With your help, ingenuity and collective action, we can make a difference and turn the tide.

Please visit WorldWildlife.org/tigers to learn more about how you can "show your stripes."