At Artisans & Adventurers, we are constantly finding inspiration in nature and the natural environments of places around the world that we visit. The sad truth is that many of the beautiful, global environments and species that inspire our creativity are at great risk of extinction. With International Tiger Day taking place today 29 July, we wanted to shine a light on one of the world's most beautiful animals, asking how they have become endangered and explaining ways in which we can help stop their rapid decline.
Tigers are the most striking big cats and they certainly provide us with a lot of inspiration, from our jewellery collections to textiles. Unfortunately, there are now only around 3,900 tigers left in the wild. Wild tiger numbers have dropped by more than 95% since the beginning of the 20th century. Tigers used to roam across most of Asia but are now restricted to a tiny fraction of their original habitat range as 93% of historical tiger lands have disappeared, primarily due to expanding human activity. The clearing of forests for agriculture and timber as well as the building of new road networks and other developments pose very real threats to tiger habitats, they now live in small, scattered groups which leads to a higher risk of inbreeding and makes them more vulnerable to poachers. Poaching is the most immediate threat for the wild tiger population as every part of a tiger, from whisker to tail, is traded in illegal wildlife markets for large sums of money to be used in traditional medicine, folk remedies or as status symbols.
Due of the incredible conservation work of a huge number of charities, organisations and individuals, for the first time in conservation history, tiger numbers are on the increase. To keep their numbers on the rise, they need us. It is incredibly important for us to protect them and help to keep their environments abundant. In the wild, tigers prey on herbivores such as deer, without enough tigers hunting, herbivores can overgraze and damage the land, disrupting the balance of the land. Local people in turn depend on a healthy environment for food, water and other resources.
So what can we do to help? Firstly, make sure to never support the illegal wildlife trade, do not purchase products online or abroad that are made from endangered species - if you are unsure of something’s origin simply do not buy it. Secondly, you can donate to a whole host of different tiger conservation charities that work tirelessly to end illegal trade and poaching as well as to protect tigers' natural habitats. Some of these charities include Panthera, TIGER Awareness, WWF, Save Tigers Now and Born Free.
Though it can be hard to hear of the plight of this incredible animal, it is imperative that we hear their stories. Human interference is at the heart of many troubles that these species face, so it is vital that we play our part and try our best to reverse the negative impact that we have inadvertently had on the natural world. We can all do our bit to help protect these beautiful animals, every action truly does make a difference. To celebrate International Tiger Day, save 10% on our Tiger Sovereign and Tiger Line jewellery collections with code SAVETHETIGERS.