© Shutterstock Tiger and cub in long grass


To help tiger populations recover, WWF is working to improve tiger habitat, reduce human-tiger conflict and engage local communities.

About Tigers

The tiger (Panthera tigris) is one of the world’s most recognizable animals, intimately connected with strength and untamed nature. A symbol of nature’s wild places, significant in faiths and folktales of almost all civilizations, tigers inspire millions of people around the globe, from the monasteries in Bhutan to the catwalks of Milan.

Sadly, tigers are on the brink of extinction. Just over a century ago, 100,000 wild tigers roamed across Asia. Today, fewer than 3,900 live in a mere four per cent of their historic range. The largest tiger population can now be found in India, home to half of all remaining wild tigers. Much of this decline has occurred in the past decade.

Tiger Facts

Tiger looking directly at camera



Scientific Name:

Panthera tigris



Endangered A wildlife species facing imminent extirpation or extinction.


Males up to 300 kg, females up to 170 kg


Males up to 4 m long, females up to 3 m long


Approximately 3,900


Tropical, subtropical and temperate regions


Asia, including eastern Russia, northeastern China, India and Nepal


Large prey including deer, wild boar and elephant calves

Did You Know?

A tiger's roar can be heard as far as 3 kilometres.

Why are Tigers Important?

These beautiful, powerful cats inhabit diverse landscapes, from rainforests to grasslands, savannahs to mangrove forests and high-elevation habitats, so they play an important role in many ecosystems that supply nature and people with water, food and room to roam.

As top predators in the food chain, tigers help keep their habitats balanced by preying on other animals, mainly herbivores. Too many herbivores would lead to overgrazing and degradation of the ecosystem.

Tigers also drive economies. Where tigers exist, tourists go. And where tourists go, money can be made by communities with few alternatives for income. Tiger conservation projects help provide alternative livelihoods for rural communities.

To safeguard tigers, we need to protect large swaths of forest across Asia where they live. By protecting these biologically diverse places, we can also preserve many other endangered species that live there. And, forests protected for tigers are known to store more carbon than other habitat types, helping to mitigate climate change.

© Vivek R. Sinha Tiger lying by the side of a rock, India.


© Ranjan Ramachandani Bengal tiger in Ranthambore, India.


The most immediate threat to wild tigers is poaching. Their body parts are in relentless demand for traditional medicine and are status symbols within some Asian cultures. Resources for guarding protected areas where tigers live are usually limited.

People and tigers increasingly compete for space. Tigers have lost 93 per cent of their historical range due to human activity and development.

As forests shrink and prey becomes scarce, tigers are forced to hunt domestic livestock, which many local communities depend on for their livelihoods. In retaliation, tigers are killed or captured. These “conflict tigers” are commonly sold on the black market.

What WWF-Canada is Doing

  • Reducing human-animal conflict
    WWF is working to improve tiger habitat, reduce human-tiger conflict and engage local communities around conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources.
  • Tackling poaching and wildlife crime
    We are working alongside TRAFFIC (the wildlife trade monitoring network) to investigate and crack down on the illegal trade in tiger products – and to reduce demand, so that this trade will no longer pose a significant threat to tigers.
  • Tigers times two
    Global leaders and non-governmental organizations met in 2010 to discuss the future of tigers at the Global Tiger Summit. During the summit, leaders committed to TX2, an ambitious goal which seeks to not only save tigers but double their numbers in the wild to at least 6,000 by the next Chinese Year of the Tiger, in 2022.
    Internationally, WWF has on-the-ground presence in almost all the tiger range countries and has been working to implement national tiger population recovery plans, strengthen enforcement networks, protect and connect tiger landscapes and galvanize political will and public support. WWF-Canada also supported the roll-out of a cutting-edge tool called Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CA|TS) to help range countries achieve the TX2 goal.
    In 2016, the midway point of TX2, global tiger numbers rose for the first time in a century!
  • Case study: Nepal
    WWF-Canada has supported tiger conservation projects in Nepal since 2013 through population monitoring, habitat improvement, awareness-raising campaigns and training for local communities as citizen scientists. As a result, Nepal has become the first country on track to achieve the ambitious TX2 goal.
© Vivek R.Sinha Tiger (Panthera tigris) lying down, India.

What You Can Do

We can’t lose our tigers. Your support makes a big difference towards our work to help recover tiger populations.

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