There are many issues currently facing the Bengal Tigers that are pushing this species towards extinction. Here will be addressed a few of the major ones:
This biggest negative impact being faced by the Bengal Tiger is their loss of habitat. Due to human development and habitat fragmentation, these animals have become confined to small, isolated patches of habitat that are not even completely idea conditions for these animals (Global Tiger Recovery Program, 2010). As their overall habitat amounts decrease, this will cause numbers to continually decline and can eventually lead to the extinction of these Tigers.
Deforestation has caused a decrease in these Tigers' habitat
Poaching has become a huge problem for the Bengal Tiger. Although this poaching is illegal, there has become a high demand for parts of these animals and this demand continues to drive poachers to hunt and kill these animals. In fact, a dead tiger is worth a total of about $30,000 once all its parts have been sold (Dinerstein, 2012). In addition, although there are laws against hunting Bengal Tigers, these laws are not enforced well and poachers often go unpunished ("India's Tiger Poaching Crisis," 2012). Because of this lack of government enforcement and punishment, poachers continue to go after these Tigers and take away from the few amounts of these animals left.
Evidence of Bengal Tiger poaching
The human population continues to increase and in order to meet these increasing numbers, more and more of the Bengal Tiger habitat is being developed to accommodate humans. Not to mention that humans are even extending their reach into portions of land that have been set aside for the purpose of conserving Tigers (Seidensticker, 2010). This presence of humans causes extra stress on this species and can further decrease their roaming range, making it harder to find other Tigers to mate with. There have been few records of Tigers killing humans, but it can occur. Especially when the Tigers are having all their other prey options removed. There is a serious need for balancing the needs of Tigers and humans so these animals can be protected while limiting the risk to humans.
Human presence has a huge impact on these Tigers
Loss of Genetic Diversity.
Although there have been multiple areas of land designated for maintaining Bengal Tiger habitat, these areas tend to be fairly small and spread out. This creates independent, isolated Tiger populations where the individuals cannot breed with other Tigers. This is creating metapopulations and decreasing the genetic variability within these populations of Tigers. This has the potential to lead to inbreeding depression or the bottleneck effect within the individuals of these metapopulations. This decrease in genetic diversity has the potential to decrease the overall fitness of these tigers and make them more susceptible to having these small populations being individually wiped out (Groom, 226).
Evidence of the sort of features that can come from genetic inbreeding