As a result of “the South China Tiger [being] one of the most endangered tiger subspecies in the world” (State Forestry Administration, 2000) China implemented the China Action Plan For Saving the South China Tiger. China’s State Forestry Administration developed the plan because it was necessary to minimize the threat of extinction posed by humans to these tigers. Without intervention, the South China Tiger would go extinct.
Historically, “The South China Tiger was widely distributed, [its range area was about] 2000 kilometers from east to west and 1500 kilometers from north to south” (State Forestry Administration, 2000). What lead to the South China Tiger being classified as extinct was the ignorance of people about the tiger’s ecological and reproductive fragility.
According to the China Action Plan, “During the thirty years before 1980 the wild population of the South China Tiger suffered from continuous large-scale hunting, deforestation of their habitats for timbers, reclaiming of agricultural lands, and pollution from chemical fertilizers”.
A combination of human encroachment and habitat destruction resulted in both a decrease in the numbers of South China tigers in the wild as well as a decrease in the habitat in which they were able to live.
The Ministry of Forest of the Peoples Republic of China combined its efforts with the World Wildlife Federation to conduct a study of the South China Tiger from 1990-1992. “The outcome of the survey revealed that there were about 20 to 30 South China Tigers living in the wild at that time. Therefore, the South China Tiger [was] on the brink of extinction” (State Forestry Administration, 2000).
There are two different types of South C...
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...te Forestry Administration, 2000).
The South China Tiger is only one of several species that is endangered due to human activities. It is important for both governments and individuals to become aware of the threats that they pose to species in order to prevent extinction in the future. Without knowledge and awareness many species will meet that same fate as those of the Dodo bird and the Passenger Pigeon. However with appropriate awareness, monitoring and preservation programs it is possible for humans to prevent the complete extinction of the so many vital species and organisms that share this planet with mankind.
1- China Action Plan for Saving the South China Tiger, Draft Outline. State Forestry
Administration, P.R. China. Oct. 2000
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