“The tiger is not a thing of the past, but a living symbol of our relationship with nature.”
This quote by Kailash Sankhala, a renowned tiger conservationist, captures the essence of our bond with tigers. These majestic creatures, with their striking stripes and mighty roars, are more than just fascinating animals. They are crucial guardians of our environment. As top predators, they check on herbivores like deer, preventing them from overgrazing and damaging the land. This balance is essential for all life, including humans, who depend on a healthy environment for food, water, and other resources. According to the WWF, there are almost 4,500 tigers left in the wild around the globe. However, the tiger population in India has seen a significant increase, reaching 3,167 tigers, as reported in the latest census conducted in 2022.
But our striped friends are facing some severe challenges. They’re losing their homes due to human activities like deforestation, the construction of roads or dams, and some even hunt them. What’s more, climate change is making their survival even harder.
Nitish Barole is the founder of Youth for Resilience, a youth-led organization working on disaster risk reduction, climate action and SDGs. He has worked with the U.N., government agencies and grassroots organizations to build resilience through disaster education, community work and capacity development.