Video transcription

It's the largest of the big wild cats, highly endangered, a powerful predator, in fact, an apex predator at the very top of the food chain. It's the tiger. I'm Janice Creneti. I'm an environmental science teacher who's been teaching for over 20 years and I'm here to talk to you today about where do tigers live. Well, tigers' ranges have been shrinking. You see, tigers, being an apex predator, need large, large areas in which they can travel and hunt for their prey. Not a lot of tigers can live very close to each other; they need vast expanses of land and they're getting out-competed by humans. Tigers used to exist over much of Asia, including the Middle East although now, most tigers are limited strictly to the areas of India. They used to exist in the Middle East, a species called the Caspian tiger, but that is now extinct. All existing tigers are currently endangered. The two that we're most familiar with are the Bengal tiger, which exists primarily in mangrove areas in India, those are going to be warmer, tropical areas, as well as the Siberian tiger, which is going to exist in your colder areas. Obviously, that white coat is designed to help it blend in in snowy environments. Tigers are powerful animals, able to bring down large prey by themselves, unlike lions which tend to hunt in groups, your tigers are solitary hunters. Tigers are highly endangered not only because of the habitat loss, because of human development, but also because they've been hunted almost to extinction in many places. There's a lot of time and money that's going into trying to save this beautiful species. You may even be familiar with ligers and tigons, which are hybrids between tigers and lions that have happened in captivity, some cases intentional where scientists have been experimenting with the genetics, but also in big cat sanctuaries where there may be an unplanned meeting between the two species. Now, interestingly enough, these hybrid animals are sterile, they're not able to reproduce. The tiger chromosomes and the lion chromosomes can't match up when it's time for reproduction. Scientists are working hard to try to save the remaining tigers, but that predominantly means trying to save the habitat in which they live. If they can't save large expanses of land, if that land is small and fragmented, instead of one big piece, the tigers aren't going to have what they need to survive. Beautiful animals that, hopefully, will be around for a few more years to come. I'm Janice Creneti and this is "Where Do Tigers Live?"