Global Tiger Day is celebrated worldwide as a way to recognize one of the world’s most popular species. Despite the tiger’s popularity, though, it’s now considered endangered. Sadly, we’ve lost some tiger subspecies that have already become extinct.
Habitat destruction and poaching are the most serious threats to tigers in the wild. Less than 100 years ago, there were 100,000 tigers in the wild. Today, the numbers have plummeted to less than 3,500. In this same century, the tiger’s habitat in Asia has shrunk by 93% - with 40% of that decline happening in the past 10 years.
By sponsoring a tiger at The Wildcat Sanctuary, you help with our mission of education and inspiring change to end the captive wildlife crisis. Our education efforts currently reach over 1.3 million people worldwide. Find out more about our Sponsor-A-Wild-One program HERE.
Shopping responsibly can go a long way in saving crucial habitat, even with Asia’s jungles so far away. The choices you make when shopping impact wildlife as much as a poacher’s bullet or a game warden’s protection. It all hinges on palm oil, the most widely produced edible vegetable oil in the world. It’s an important economic crop in Indonesia and Malaysia. Because of that, vital tiger habitat forests are being cleared at an alarming rate so palms can be planted instead.
Palm oil has a long shelf life and has become the most common ingredient in packaged foods like cookies, chocolate, potato chips, and bread. Shampoo, lotion, laundry soap, and many other common products also contain palm oil. Tragically, the use of all this palm oil spells death for untold numbers of endangered animals.
Wanting to make the right choices isn’t as easy as reading an ingredient level. Manufacturers use many different names for palm oil including sodium lauryl sulphate and stearic acid. But, it can be produced in a responsible way without cutting down the rainforest. This is called sustainable palm oil. Thankfully, there’s now an easy app you can download to see if your favorite products use sustainable palm oil.
Download the Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping Guide App:
As a consumer, you have a voice — and you should use it. If your favorite product contains palm oil, contact the manufacturer and ask them to use certified sustainable palm oil from suppliers that have made a clear commitment to halt deforestation. If the manufacturer already uses sustainable palm oil, ask them to indicate this on product packaging to help consumers make the best choice to protect the environment.
Each person who supports sustainable palm oil is truly a voice for our most vulnerable wildlife and the families in these areas – and ultimately for all of us. Tigers have walked the Earth for 2 million years. We owe it to them to help save them.