Endangered Species Day is May 20th, 2022, celebrated on the third Friday in May. David Robinson and the Endangered Species Coalition founded Endangered Species Day in 2006. The goal of this day is to celebrate, learn, and take action to protect threatened and endangered species.
Who is endangered at TCWR?
TCWR is home to only one endangered species: tigers. There are currently less than 4000 tigers left in the wild. Their populations continue to decrease due to loss of habitat, human-wildlife conflict, and the exotic animal trade. There are more tigers in backyards and fake zoos and sanctuaries in the US than there are in the wild.
TCWR is also home to several vulnerable species, including lions and leopards. These animals are not as close to possible extinction, but their populations are declining at a concerning rate. Similar to tigers, they face habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, and the exotic animal trade. The lion population has nearly halved since 1994.
TCWR has one species that fall under the near-threatened category, meaning that this species is not currently concerning, but is approaching that point. This animal is our jaguar.
Lastly, TCWR is home to many animals that are of least concern. They have stable or increasing populations. This includes our brown and black bears, bobcats, cougars, servals, and spotted hyena.
What can you do to help our tigers?
Limit your use of palm oil.
Palm oil is the main crop that is responsible for habitat loss for tigers and unfortunately, it is in nearly everything. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo created a Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping App that allows shoppers to make educated decisions about the products they’re buying. Look for brands that don’t use palm oil or palmate and say no to the use of it. In big news, Indonesia, the highest producer of palm oil, has officially banned the export of palm oil. This is huge for tigers, as it could help prevent more deforestation and habitat loss.
Support causes protecting tigers.
Organizations like TCWR, World Wildlife Fund, and Global Tiger Initiative are taking action to protect tigers in captivity and in the wild. Programs like these promote international conservation efforts, including habitat restoration, poaching prevention, and banning illegal exotic trades. Their efforts are seen in education, laws, and success stories across the world. Places like these need our support, through money, volunteering, and spreading the word.
Be aware of social media.
Social media can be very powerful. It has given animal abusers and animal saviors both a big platform. Be aware of what you’re consuming and sharing. Block and report accounts of people owning exotic animals as pets or showing that these big cats make good pets. Share posts from your favorite zoos, sanctuaries, and nonprofits to spread awareness of the situations these wild animals are in. Use your voice to be the voice for the animals and people who need it.
Advocate against the Exotic Animal Trade.
Animals are the third most trafficked thing in the US. Big cats are taken from their natural habitat and overbred or crossbred to sell for money. They are sold online as pets or used for cub petting and speed breeding. They are viewed as nothing more than a dollar sign. Help TCWR stop the big cat exotic pet trade by advocating for the Big Cat Public Safety Act. Help us leave these animals in their natural habitats, where it is safest for us and for them.