CLCrow Photography Blog

Capturing Life At Its Best

Save The Tiger

As I mentioned in my May 22, 2010 blog: Bengal Tiger, this is the Year of the Tiger on the Chinese Calendar.  With so few tigers left in the wild today, it is more important than ever to save this majestic cat.

Here are some of the different ways that you can help save the Tigers:

World Wildlife Fund

  • Species Adoption – Give a gift that will help protect the future of nature. Your symbolic adoption supports WWF’s global efforts to protect wild animals and their habitats.  You can also give Species Adoption gift cards so your recipient can pick what species they want to adopt.
  • Donate

SaveTigersNow.org – This is part of World Wildlife Fund.  You can donate and your donation will go to:

  • strengthen grassroots projects to save tiger habitat across its range
  • support antipoaching efforts on the ground
  • build political will so that governments commit to bold, game-changing strategies that give wild tigers a future

SaveTheTigerFund.org

  • Save The Tiger Fund (STF) is a partnership program between the ExxonMobil Foundation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) established in 1995 focused on the conservation of wild tigers.

SaveOurTigers.com

  • Every little bit helps. You can speak up about the cause. You can write or blog about our tigers. Even staying up-to-date with tiger facts like knowledge of tiger sanctuaries, their population, news updates, etc. helps. You can also donate money to NGOs working for the cause, like WWF-India. If we don’t act now, we can lose this part of our heritage forever.
  • Twitter id: @SaveOurTigers
  • Facebook ID: http://www.facebook.com/StripeytheCub?ref=ts

SavingWildTigers.org

  • Donate

TigerHaven.org

  • Big cat sanctuary and rescue facility located in Tennessee. Similar to a animal shelter for dogs and cats except it is a no kill facility and it is a permanent home for the big cats.
  • These cats do not work for a living, they just enjoy the rest of their lives.
  • Adopt a cat at $53/year to help feed and house these wonderful cats.  WIth your donation, you will receive a certificate and an 8×10 photo of the cat that you choose.

These are just some of the ways that you can help the tiger population.  Anything that you can do would be appreciated.

June 16, 2010 Posted by | Wildlife | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lion

The Lion (Panthera Leo) is the second largest member of the cat family, second only to the tiger.  The word lion derives from Latin leo.  They currently exit in sub-saharan African and in Asia with a critically endangered remnant population in the Gir Forest National Park in India.  The lion has disappered from North Africa and Southwest Asia.

They generally live for 10-15 years in the wild and can live over 20 years in captivity.  They are unusually social compared to the other big cats.  They live in a Pride.  Related females and their offspring and a small group of males live together.  The females hunt together.

The male lion is easily recognizable due to his mane.

There are eight subspecies that are recognized today:

  • Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica) – About 300 exist in or near the Gir Forest in India.  Once widespread from Turkey across SW Asia to Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
  • Barbary Lion (Panthera leo leo) – They are extinct due to excessive hunting.  There may be some in captivity in India. Last wild lion was killed in Morocco in 1922. One of the largest subspecies.  Ranged from Morocco to Egypt.
  • West African Lion (Panthera leo senegatensis) – Found in West African from Senegal to Nigeria.
  • Northeast Congo Lion (Panthera leo azandica) – Found in northeastern part of Congo.
  • East African or Massi Lion (Panthera leo nubica) – Found from Ethiopia and Kenya to Tanzania and Mozambique.
  • Southwest African or Katanga Lion (Panthera leo bleyenberghi) – Found in Southwest Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Angola, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
  • Southeast African Lion (Panthera leop krugeri) – Transvaal region of Southeast Africa including Kruger National Forest.
  • Cape Lion (Panthera leo melanchaita) – Extinct in wild around 1860.
  • East Africa or Tsavo Lion (Panthera leo nubica) – Found from Kenya to Tsava National Forest.

The lion is the tallest at shoulder of all the felines. Their skulls are similar to that of a tiger though the frontal region is more depressed and flattened and they have broader nasal openings.  The lion color is light buff to yellowish, reddish, or dark brown.  Their underparts are lighter and both the male and the female have black tuft of hair at the end of their tails.  Lion cubs are born with spots that fade when they get older but may still be seen on their legs.  The male lion’s mane is a distinct feature, unique only to them.

Lions do not mate at a specific time of year.  Gestation period is 110 days.  One to four cubs are born in a litter in a secluded den.  Female lion hunts by herself when cubs are still helpless.  Cubs are born blind, their eyes open about a week after birth.  They are walking about 2-3 weeks after birth.  The mother does not reintegrate herself back into the pride until the cubs are about 6-8 weeks old.  As much as 80% cubs will die before they reach age 2.

It is estimated that there has been a 30-50% decline of the lion population over the past 20 years.  Something needs to be done before they are totally gone from the wild.

June 3, 2010 Posted by | Wildlife | , , | Leave a comment

The Grizzly Bear

Three month old Grizzly Cub

The Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) is second largest land carnivore, the polar bear being the largest.  They can weigh up to 1,200 pounds. The term grizzly comes from “grizzled” or grey hair in its fur.  Grizzly Bears are a subspecies of the Brown Bear.  They are generally found in western North America but they are also found in Asia and Europe.

They normally are a solitary active animal but during salmon spawn, they can be seen congregating with other grizzly’s along streams, lakes, rivers and ponds.

Their claws make them different from other species of brown bear.   Their claws are twice the length of their toes.

Grizzlies are omnivores since their diets consists of both plants and animals.  Grizzly bears also readily scavenge food, on carrion left behind by other animals

Female Grizzly Bears (sows) reproduce about every other year.  They have between 1 and 4 cubs (normally 2).  The newborn cubs weigh only about a pound.  Mother bears are notoriously protective of their cubs.    Mother protecting their cubs account for 70% of all fatal injuries to humans. Grizzly Bears normally avoid contact with people.

They are listed as threatened in the United Sates and endangered in Canada.

The Grizzly Bear is one of the many animals that you can adopt on World Wildlife Fund.

May 23, 2010 Posted by | Wildlife | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bengal Tiger


On February 14, 2010, the Chinese lunar calendar moved into The Year of the Tiger.

Tigers are the largest of all the Asian big cats, at the top of the food chain.  Tigers are one of the most culturally important and beautiful animals on the planet but they are one of the most vulnerable and threatened species on Earth.

Bengal Tigers are found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.  The tiger is the national animal of Bangladesh.   According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are approximately 2,100 royal Bengal tigers in the wild:

  • 1,411 in India
  • 200 in Bangladesh
  • 150 in Nepal
  • 100 in Bhutan

It is considered to be the second largest tiger next to the Siberian Tiger, though recent studies show that the Bengal tiger could actually be larger than the Siberian.

The total length for males from tip of nose to tip of tale is between 8′ – 10′ and the average weight is about 490 lb., females are a little smaller, they are between 7-8 feet and weigh about 300 lb.  Though in India and Nepal, Bengal tigers can grow to about 518 lb. for males. A Bengal Tiger’s coat is yellow or orange with black or brown stripes.  Their belly is white and tail is white with black rings.  There are also white Bengal Tigers which have white coat with dark brown or reddish brown stripes.  This coloration is caused by a recessive gene.

A tiger’s roar can be heard up to 2 miles away.

India has approximately 2/3 of the worlds tigers.  Tigers are found in 37 tiger preserves throughout India.  Habitat loss and poaching are serious threats to the tiger population.  Tigers are killed for sport, skins and body parts.

According to the World Wildlife Fund – If we do not respond to the plight of the wild tigers and the needs of the communities that share their homes with tigers – most of which is outside protected wildlife areas, we will witness the loss of one of the world’s most irreplaceable, natural wonders of our lifetime.   Tigers survive on 40% less area than they occupied 10 years ago.  The tiger population has fallen about 95% and its range has decreased over 93% over the past century.

Please sign the petition Protect Tigers from Illegal Trade Help WWF tighten regulations to protect captive tigers in the U.S. and prevent increased demand for tiger products that put wild populations at risk. Sign WWF’s petition to Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack asking them to use their authority to close existing loopholes in the permitting and monitoring of captive tigers in the U.S.

World Wildlife Fund’s Goal Tx2 is to double the number of wild tigers by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger.

May 22, 2010 Posted by | Wildlife | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Majestic Tiger

Tigers (Panthera tigris) is the largest and probably most dangerous of big cats.    Native to much of eastern and southern Asia. They are also the most recognizable due to their dark, vertical stripes. Form and density of the stripes differ between subspecies.  Pattern of their stripes are unique to each animal, much like fingerprints in humans.  The stripes are not just on the fur, the stripes patterns are imbedded in the skin. Bengal tiger have the most numbers but it is the Siberian Tiger which is the largest member of the tiger family.

There are 9 species of modern tiger, three of those are extinct.  The remaining six species are endangered, some critically.  They are all under formal protection but poaching, habitat destruction and inbreeding has really reduced the wild tiger population to about 3200.

SUBSPECIES:

Bengal (Panthera tigris tigris) – the most common species of tiger.  Found in India and Bangledesh.  There are an estimated 1,411 wild tigers, drop of 60% in the past decade.  Project Tiger is a wildlife conservation movement initiated in India in 1972 to protect the Bengal Tigers.

Indochinese (Panthera tigris corbetti) – Found om Cambodia, China, Laos, Burma, Thailand and Vietnam.   There are approximately 1,200-1,800 Indochinese tigers left but only about 100 left in the wild.  In Vietnam, almost 3/4 of the tigers killed provide stock for chinese pharmaceuticals.

Malayan (Panthera tigris jacksoni) – Found in the southern part of Malay Peninsula.  Population of about 600-800 tigers in the wild.  Smallest of the mainland tiger subspecies.

Sumatran (Panthera tigris sumatrae) – Found on Indonesian Island of Sumatra.  Critically endangered.  Population about 400-500.  The smallest of all living species.  Mainly located on the islands national parks.

Siberian (Panthera tigris altaica) – Also known as Amur, Manchurian, Altaic, Korean or North China Tiger. Located in far eastern Siberia.  Considered the largest of all tiger species.  At 6 months old, a Siberian tiger cub can be as big as a leopard.  Population about 450-500.  It has the largest undivided tiger population in the wild.

South China (Panthera tigris amoyensis) – The most critically endangered species. One of the 10 most endangered animals in the world.  One of the smallest species.  Currently only 59 known captive, no tiger has been seen in the wild since 1983.

EXTINCT

Bali (Panthera tigris balica) – Found on the island of Bali. Smallest of all tigers.  Last one killed in 1937. None was ever in captivity.

Javan (Panthera tigris sondaica) – Found on the island of Java.  Last sighted in 1979.

Caspian (Panthera tigris virgata) – Found in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Caucasus.  Has been extinct since the late 1950s, though there has been some more recent alleged sightings. Genetic research the animal was identical to the Siberian.

Tigers need an enormous territory, sufficient cover, proximity to water and an abundance of prey to survive.  Unlike domestic cats and many large cats, tigers are very strong swimmers and seek out water.  Tigers are essentially solitary and territorial.

Reproduction – Mating can occur all year but most common between November and April.  Gestation period is 16 weeks.  The litter usually consists of 3-4 cubs about 2 lbs each.  Cubs are born blind and helpless.  Mortality rate is high, only about half survive.  There is one dominant cub in each litter.  Cubs are independent at 18 months but don’t leave their mothers until about 2.5 years old.

Tigers can live 10-15 years in the wild and can live longer than 20 years in captivity.

May 21, 2010 Posted by | Wildlife | , , , | Leave a comment