Nearly one tiger is getting killed everyday by none other than the ultimate predator man! The fierce Bengal tiger is India’s national animal, since endangered it is much protected. Even after many Tiger conservation programs its populations have been dwindling in India, mainly due to habitat loss and indiscriminate poaching for pelts, bones and teeth used to make medicines allegedly providing the tigers strength.
The hunting for Chinese medicine and fur is the biggest cause of decline of the tigers.
Indian farmers are a suffering lot, if the weather is not lashing out at them the money lenders usually are, so much so that the money from selling a tiger equals six months of hard work on the fields, no wonder killing an endangered Bengal tiger seems a tempting , lucrative offer. Similar is the case of Lakhan , he belongs to the Mogya community, a poaching tribe whose people have hunted tigers for centuries in the northern desert state of Rajasthan. He has killed three tigers in recent years and has been in jail on and off for selling their thick yellow-and-black striped coats, as well as their bones, whiskers and even their glowing amber eyes.
Alarming statistics indicate that in India, only an estimated 1,500 remain, a decline of more than 50 percent since 2001, according to the government-run National Tiger Conservation Authority. In the past six years, it is believed, tigers have been killed at a rate of nearly one a day.
Population pressures on tiger survival
Even in the woods of Ranthambhore, the only dry deciduous tiger habitat in the world to spot the elusive cat, the tiger population has dwindled to just 35. Meanwhile, the number of people living next to the park has more than tripled, from 70,000 in 1980 to 250,000 today. The new arrivals have brought construction, logging and nearly 1 million grazing livestock. Even as their habitat shrinks the tigers tend to seek out this livestock, resultant in revenge killings by the farmers.
Its almost humans versus tigers, with land getting more and more limited, Parliament recently passed legislation that will provide tribal communities with land and building rights in wildlife reserves, an opportunity that could push tigers out of their sanctuaries.
What can be done?
Local governments should seriously create a development agency for each tiger reserve. Children should be made more aware of the problem, poachers should be inducted as protectors, as their experience in following tigers would be pretty good and their wives encouraged to make handicrafts usable by the tourists. The benefits of tourism in the region should trickle down to the poorest of the population.
Providing sustainable livelihoods to poachers is essential to ensure against the tigers’ extinction.
Source: Washington post