How many Bengal Tigers are Left in the World?

Why are Tigers endangered? How many Bengal Tigers are left in the world? How many Sumatran Tigers are left in the world? How did the Tasmanian Tiger go extinct? How many Lions are left in the world? 
how many Bengal Tigers are left in the world
Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

Tigers are ferocious beasts that humble humanity in their majestic power. In Chinese mythos, the Tiger is on par with the legendary Dragon. With their characteristic stripe pattern, these beasts rule the wild. You would think animals such as the Tiger, awe-inducing and fantastical, would be subject to humanity’s love. However, you might be wrong to think that. Through poaching, humans have reduced the once ruler of the jungle to an endangered species. In this article, you will learn a lot about Tigers and find answers to questions such as how many Bengal Tigers are left in the world? How many Sumatran Tigers are left?

1. Why are Tigers endangered?

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Photo by Martin Martz on Pexels

Tigers as an entire species are endangered. The IUCN or International Union for Conservation of Nature considers tigers at risk of extinction, with many of its sub-species being critically endangered. Tigers did not become an endangered species overnight. The dwindling tiger population has historical roots that are hard to shake. Firstly, the hunting and poaching of tigers is the most heinous culprit in reducing the tiger population. Tigers, for all their majesty, were trophy animals to hunters.

Although the world has seemingly begun to work against illegal killings of tigers, rapid modernization has led to tigers’ natural habitats being destroyed. Finally, in an act representative of human cruelty, many tigers are captives, and captivity is usually synonymous with mistreatment. To know how many Bengal Tigers are left in the world and about other tiger species, read the next points. (See Why are Bottlenose Dolphins Becoming Endangered?)

2. Are Tigers going extinct?

The answer to this question is not definite. While there are still about 4500 tigers out and about in the world, it is nowhere near its previous population. Moreover, you will be shocked to read the count of how many Bengal Tigers are left in the world. Tigers are currently endangered species. It implies that if necessary measures are not taken, tigers could eventually go extinct. However, that status applies to tigers as a species. There are few sub-species of critically endangered tigers. Critically endangered animals are close to extinction. Tiger sub-species like the Java and Bali Tigers are already extinct. Sumatran Tigers are presently critically endangered.

Therefore, while some tiger subspecies are close to extinction, the species face the threat of eventual extinction. (See How many Animals are there in the World?)

3. Which Species of Tigers are going Extinct?

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Photo by Frida Lannerström on Unsplash

Tigers are not uniform across the world, as you will see when we answer how many Bengal Tigers are left in the world. There exist many sub-species specific to their geographic location. While each sub-species is distinct from one another in some way, one similarity they all share is that they are endangered. Further neglect and ignorance could potentially lead to the extinction of the species. There is precedent for this as Caspian, Bali, and Javan Tigers have gone extinct. The following are the tiger species that are heading towards extinction:

  • Bengal Tiger: Bengal Tigers or Indian Tigers are a subspecies of tigers specific to the Indian subcontinent. You can find Bengal Tigers in India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. They are the subspecies of tigers with the highest population as you will find out later in the answer to how many Bengal tigers are left in the world. White Tigers are Bengal Tigers with a genetic mutation. Depending on their stripe patterns, they could either be genetic mutations (defined stripes) or albinos (faint or no stripes).
  • Siberian Tigers: Siberian Tigers or Manchurian or Amur Tigers are subspecies of tigers specific to Northern Asia. You can find Siberian Tigers in North Korea, Russia, and China.
  • Sumatran Tigers: Sumatran Tigers are the smallest subspecies of tigers. They are specific to the Indonesian mainland. You will understand when we read how many Sumatran Tigers are left in the upcoming segment. They are a critically endangered species. Sumatran Tigers were the contemporaries of the now extinct Java and Bali Tigers.
  • Indochinese Tigers: Indochinese Tigers, or Corbett’s Tigers (named after the English hunter), are a subspecies of tigers specific to Southeast Asia. You can find Indochinese Tigers in Vietnam, Laos, Burma, China, and Thailand.
  • Malayan Tigers: Malayan or Southern Indochinese Tigers are a subspecies of tigers specific to Southeastern Asia. You can find Malayan tigers in Thailand, Malaysia, and Burma.
  • South China Tigers: South China Tigers or Chinese Tigers, or Xiamen Tigers are sub-species of tigers specific to Central China. This is the third distinct species of tigers in China, alongside the Indochinese and Siberian Tigers.
  • Blue Tigers: Blue or Maltese Tigers are similar to their White tiger counterparts. However, their existence has not been proven yet.

4. How did the Tasmanian Tiger go extinct?

The story of the Tasmanian tiger or thylacine is a tragic one. Tasmanian Tigers were marsupials predominantly present in the Australian state of Tasmania. These marsupials were called Tigers due to their distinctive striped patterns. Although over five thousand Tasmanian Tigers were present during the European settlement by 1936, the species had gone extinct. The extinction of the Tasmanian Tigers can be attributed to three primary reasons, hunting, disease, and the destruction of their natural habitats.

After the European settlement, the locals assumed that the Tasmanian Tigers were responsible for their farming losses, setting about on a hunting spree. Between the ninety years from 1830 to 1920, over 3500 Tasmanian Tigers were killed. The authorities were too late to act upon this rampant decline in the Tasmanian tiger population, granting it the protected status only 56 days before the species went extinct. In a cruel twist of fate, the last thylacine, Benjamin, died in 1936 from institutional neglect despite its recently awarded protected status. Also, check out the 20 largest Zoo in the World.

5. How many Tigers are left in the world?

As we have already established, tigers are an endangered species. There are not many tigers present in the world. The tiger population of the world stands at about 4500 presently. However, less than half of these tigers are present in the wild. Most of the tigers, about 70% of the count are present in India. This number is almost double compared to how many Bengal Tigers are left in the world. They are captives in zoos, theme parks, and sometimes as pets. With nearly three thousand tigers, India has the highest tiger population in the world. (See Why are Zoos Bad for Animals?)

6. How many Bengal Tigers are left in the World?

The Bengal tiger variant is the subspecies of tigers with the highest population. They are predominantly present in the Indian Subcontinent consisting of countries such as India, Bhutan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. So, how many Bengal Tigers are left in the world? There are an estimated 2000 wild Bengal Tigers in the world. Most of these tigers are present in India. (See How strong is a Tiger compared to a Human?)

7. How many Sumatran Tigers are left in the World?

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Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

Sumatran Tigers are the tiger sub-species specific to the Indonesian mainland. This critically endangered species was once the contemporary of the Java and BaliTigers from the same region. Both Java and Bali Tigers are now extinct. The Sumatran Tigers are also the smallest subspecies of tigers. As of 2022, estimates suggest that less than 400 Sumatran Tigers are left worldwide. This number is alarming. If remedial measures are not taken, it could result in the possible extinction of the Sumatran Tigers. (Also read What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of the Capture Mark-Recapture Method?)

8. How many White Tigers are left in the world?

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Photo by Anthony on Pexels 

The White Tiger is an anomaly that attracts people. Unlike the yellow-orange fur that tigers usually possess, the White Tiger possesses white fur. However, the White Tiger is not a sub-species in itself. Rather, all White Tigers are Bengal Tigers with different genes. White Tigers are of two types which you can distinguish from stripe patterns. If the tiger has white fur and defined black stripes it is the result of a genetic mutation. If the tiger has faint stripes it is an albino. There are only about 200 White Tigers in the world today. (See Why are Some Tigers White?)

9. How many Lions are left in the World?

A lion or Panthera Leo is a majestic beast that people associate with the wild predominantly across Africa. Known for their golden mane, these big cats symbolize power and majesty, so much so that many call them the King of the Jungle. Lions exist across Africa and parts of India, and they can survive in varying habitats ranging from grasslands to deserts. There are about twenty thousand lions worldwide today, perhaps by their adaptability.

Twenty thousand is a big step down, considering that estimates suggest that there were hundreds of thousands of lions at the time of European settlement. This rapid decline has four primary causes: illegal trade, poaching, loss of habitats, and human-lion conflicts. However, despite their current state, there is a chance that we can improve the conditions of lions. That is to say that it is not too late to protect the species. Moreover, this count is quite higher when you compare it with the answer of how many Bengal Tigers are left in the world. (See What is the Biggest Lion in the World?)

10. Pledge the Tiger Promise in 2022

Keeping in mind the answer to how many Bengal Tigers are left in the world, the Pledge the Tiger Promise of 2022 is an initiative started that aims at furthering tiger conservation. It coincides with the beginning of the Year of the Tiger as per the Chinese Zodiac Calendar. From this year on, the Pledge the Tiger Promise hopes to bring about a change and better the conditions of tigers worldwide. To achieve its goals, the Pledge the Tiger promise proposes that its followers abide by the following norms:

  • Learn about tigers, their conditions, and how to preserve them. Spread awareness from what you learn to start the conversation about tiger conservation.
  • Boycott all products that use any tiger or wildlife-derived ingredients, even medicines.
  • Discard and abstain from all trinkets or showpieces made out of the parts of a tiger (such as claws o teeth) or any other wildlife.
  • Stop using unsustainable palm oil. Palm oil production leads to the destruction of the tigers’ natural habitat.
  • Stay away from any attractions with human-tiger interactions (like tiger tricks or petting), as this usually goes hand-in-hand with the mistreatment of captive tigers.
  • Only visit zoos AZA, WAZA, or EAZA accreditation as these zoos contribute to wildlife conservation.
  • Make sure that your elected representative to the government is in line with your wildlife conservation goals.
  • Promote scientific temper and research concerning tiger and wildlife conservation to enable efficient remedial measures.
  • Contribute to your local NGOs that strive toward tiger conservation, adding fuel to their relentless engines.
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