© Shutterstock Tiger and cub in long grass


Adorned with a striped, reddish-orange coat and equipped with an acute sense of hearing and night vision, tigers are one of nature’s most revered and feared predators.

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 many 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, approximately 5,600 live in a mere five 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.


Male tigers up to 250 kg, females up to 170 kg


Males up to 3.5 m long, females up to 3 m long


Approximately 5,600


Tropical, subtropical and temperate regions


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


Large prey including deer and wild pigs

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, clean air, food and space 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.

Conserving tiger landscapes, if done with sensitivity to human needs, has enormous potential to ensure the well-being of Indigenous communities, as tigers and their habitats are intricately tied to their way of life.

© 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 95 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 often 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) and range country governments 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
    Leaders from the tiger range country governments, tiger biologists 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 sought 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.-WWF-Canada actively participated the Tx2 campaign by channeling much-needed funding assistance to WWF-Nepal to undertake crucial conservation activities, such as, population monitoring, habitat improvement, awareness-raising campaigns and training for local communities as citizen scientists.
  • With a lot of hard work, and through unwavering support over the last 12 years, global wild tiger numbers have increased for the first time in over a century. Nepal has more than doubled the tiger numbers from 121 to 355 individuals. This historic conservation win is proof that when local communities, governments and international partners come together, even a daring goal like Tx2 can be achieved.
  • Our tiger conservation efforts have been working, but we can’t stop now as tigers are still one of the most threatened species of the world.
  • As we begin the next 12 years of tiger conservation work to the 2034 Year of the Tiger, WWF will work in partnership with the communities living in tiger landscapes, build political will and landscape connectivity, restore ecosystems, and change tiger consumer behaviour to reduce poaching and trafficking.
© 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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