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The striking and unusual coloration of white tigers has made them one of the most popular animals in zoos and exotic animal shows from around the world. But what is behind the captivity of hundreds of white tigers around the world? What advantages and disadvantages do these measures bring in the face of the endangered situation that threatens white tigers? It is quite contradictory to see how despite the fact that white tigers are able to thrive in the wild when they are born occasionally in their natural habitats, more and more specimens of white tigers are bred in captivity to guarantee the presence of this surprising coloration. in future generations of these tigers.

If you want to discover why the white tiger is in danger of extinction and what are the main characteristics of these amazing felines, do not miss this interesting article by Green Ecologist.

Characteristics of the white tiger and its origin

White tigers, one of the most striking and surprising felines, are the result of a genome mutation that occasionally some individuals of the subspecies of the Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) and / or Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica). Is tiger genome mutation It implies the presence of two recessive alleles (not predominant) in the gene that determines the color of the animal, a phenomenon that leads to the elimination of the orange pigment that both Bengal and Siberian tigers commonly present in their coats. In this way, white tigers are characterized by a coat of cream white with stripes black, gray or light brown; as well as by the presence of blue eyes and pink nose.

Despite the differences in physical appearance of white tigers, they are not a different subspecies and, therefore, are fertile and able to reproduce with individuals without whitish fur of the opposite sex of Bengal and / or Siberian tigers (depending on the subspecies to which the individual white tiger belongs). As a result of the crossing between individuals, the descendants will be tigers of normal orange coloration, although they will carry the recessive allele that will allow the formation of possible white tigers in future generations (when crossing with another individual of white tiger). Beyond these special genotypic characteristics of these felines, these are other characteristics of white tigers:

  • Greater size and weight, both at birth and during adulthood, compared to the rest of Bengal and Siberian tigers with normal coloration, reaching 230 kilograms during adulthood.
  • Habitats associated with its maintenance in captivity in zoos in different parts of the world. Despite not suffering any type of adaptation to the natural habitats of the abanas, subtropical and tropical forests in which the other Bengal and Siberian tigers live, white tigers tend to remain under exhaustive studies and maintenance to be exposed as an object of interest. for human beings.

This fact is directly related to the current situation of danger of extinction experienced by the population of white tigers worldwide. Let's see in more detail in the next section what is the reason for this threat suffered by white tigers.

Why the white tiger is in danger of extinction - causes

The current population of white tigers is really scarce, they hardly exist 300 specimens worldwide. Despite this sad situation, the white tiger is not listed directly as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List, but rather indirectly, through the recognition of the subspecies to which they belong. Bengal and Siberian tigers, as endangered species (category Threatened -Endangered, EN).

In this way, any action focused on the conservation and protection of the Bengal and Siberian tigers will also lead to saving the white tigers from extinction. For this, it is important to take into account the different causes that currently make these precious cats are in danger of extinction.

Causes of the endangered wild white tigers

  • Poaching for the sale of their skins and bones.
  • The loss and division of the regions that make up their natural habitats, thus hindering the proper reproduction and development of individuals.
  • The problematic decrease in the amount of prey that tigers need to feed.

In the next section we include more information regarding this drastic loss of biodiversity, focusing on possible action and awareness measures that we must adopt to try to get the white tigers to leave the situation of danger of extinction very soon.

You can expand this information with this other article about endangered Tigers.

How to help the white tiger to avoid its extinction

With the ultimate end of help white tigers not go extinct, it is important to become aware of and support the different studies and measures focused on reinsertion of white tigers, both in captive environments (in zoos and nature reserves), as well as promoting the conservation and protection of the specimens that live wild in their natural habitats.

This last option is, without a doubt, much more effective and positive, since it is not ethical or convenient for animals to encourage their breeding in captivity, since this has a well-defined economic objective by the local and international institutions that seek entertain people with the presence of white tigers in their zoos.

The main and vital thing is to get the different tiger subspecies from which the white tigers, that is, the Bengal and Siberian tigers, have been derived by genetic mutation. Conserve their natural habitats with strict measures and laws that prevent both the poaching of the specimens and the destruction of the ecosystems in which they live.

In addition, from Green Ecologist, we want to explain why it is important to protect endangered animals and offer advice, which you will find in this other post, about how to help endangered animals.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why the white tiger is in danger of extinctionWe recommend that you enter our category of Endangered Animals.

  • Drafting EFE: Green (06/26/2019) Two white tiger cubs, an endangered species, are born in Sendaviva Park (Navarra). EFE Agency: Green - White Tiger.
  • EFE Drafting: Green (07/21/2014) Cab├írceno welcomes two white tigers. EFE Agency: Green - Nature, animals.
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