The tiger, the largest of the cat species with a range that once spanned throughout East, Southeast, and South Asia, is nearing critical endangerment. While hundreds of years of human encroachment on tiger habitats have driven the animals into small pockets that are now wildlife preserves in countries such as India and China, a more alarming trend is that of poachers, who have little regard for protected sanctuaries. Tigers are often hunted for use as exotic pets, in medicine, and even as a delicacy and are part of a growing illegal trade.
Steve Winter has worked as a photographer for National Geographic magazine since 1991, covering areas such as Burma’s Irrawaddy River and the Kamchakta Peninsula in Far East Russia. On National Geographic Live, Winter talks about the dwindling habitat of tigers in India, Sumatra and Thailand, as well as how poachers capture their prey. He also discusses methods conservationists currently employ to help save these magnificent animals.