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Extinct species often attract a lot of attention in the professional, academic and general public circles. It is a wide-spread scenario on our planet that people start appreciating something only when they lose it. The richness of flora and fauna falls under a lot of danger from the modern human being. Caspian tigers are the subspecies that became extinct quite recently, in the last century. As everything is interconnected in the natural world, this event is an undeniable loss to the biodiversity. However, the most alarming fact is that the habitats, routes, hunting habits, and lives of Caspian tigers were largely influenced by the thriving existence of the human beings.
Looking at the natural habitat of Caspian tigers globally, one can notice how relatively limited it is. This tiger could be found in such countries as Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Northern Iraq, Mongolia, Iran, and some areas of Russia (Jackson, & Nowell, 2011). This was largely determined by the water sources, as Caspian tigers were concentrated near the river basins or the banks of the lakes. Moreover, these territories were also the ones abundant in the ungulates, which constituted a large part of the tigers’ diet. They were known for the migratory lifestyle to follow their prey. (Maas, 2011). As one can see, the spread of Caspian tigers was highly dependent on water and food sources, which means that it was extremely conditional. The comfortable environment for tigers includes vast expanses of land to roam.
With the globalization advance and continuous increase of human activity, preserving these conditions became incredibly challenging. The demise of Caspian tigers may be largely attributed to the destruction of their natural habitat and traditional sources for survival, as well as reckless behavior of people (Jackson, & Nowell, 2011). It is widely known that in many countries Caspian tigers were hunted for various reasons. Wealthy layers of population saw it as a sports opportunity, while others sought to kill tigers for their valuable and beautiful coats, which allowed to make a fortune on the black market. Furthermore, in the parts of Soviet Union some of the historical living places of these tigers were destroyed because of the changing land use. More and more land was needed to satisfy the needs of the growing population and industry. Many cotton fields appeared in the place where the wild spaces once were. What is more, the hunting of the ungulates and other animals that were the prey for tigers reduced the possibility for successful food provision for these animals. The causes of extinction were either direct (like killing) or indirect (shrinking or available territory) but all of them eventually led to the loss of yet one more species.
Examining the underlying reasons of Caspian tigers’ extinction it is also worth to remark that in recent times there have been efforts to reintroduce tiger populations. The researchers found the genetic connection between Caspian and Amur tigers, which gave hope for the revival of the species. The countries where these tigers were wide-spread joined their attempts to conduct the research and work together on the preserving the existing tiger population, as well as finding more relevant connections between the extinct and still existing subspecies (Driscoll, C.A. et al, 2012). These efforts prove that there is more awareness about the importance of natural world and the role of people in its productive functioning.
To sum up, it is important to mention that the extinction of the Caspian Tiger was caused by a number of connected factors that were mostly human-induced. The tigers were a part of the natural environment, and now this link is missing. As there is the innate connection between all species in the world, it is crucial to preserve the existing animals and plants as well as continue the research to reintroduce the species where it is possible.
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