The tiger is the King of the Jungle, and yet the tiger turns out to be the most vulnerable of species as it struggles to adapt to changes to its environment and the pressure on its habitat by human expansion.
The nature writer Richard Mabey writes of the Barn Owl as a sort of barometer of the health of the British landscape, its decline since the introduction of large scale use of chemical agriculture has been huge. He writes, “we recognise at a deep level the meaning of the owl’s ritual crossing of the fields. It is a sacrament, a consecration of good ground, the barn owl stands for continuity and its passing leaves us that bit less grounded”.
The same could be said of the tiger. The wild poplulation of tigers in India has declined steadily and dramatically in recent years. This year for the first time numbers have incresed, but as barometers for the health of the planet, these noble species, like the Barn Owl and the Tiger remind us all of our vulnerability.