Tigers Its Life, Threats And Proposed Actions
Tigers are one of the most seriously endangered big cats whose future on the planet is precarious
. Tigers are national animals of India but are regularly killed by illicit mafia. Tigers are solitary, majestic, shy, skilled striped big cats which once roamed a large number of central Asian nations. Tigers are believed to be evolved around 2 millions years ago in Central Asian forests. Historically tigers roamed most of these nations but the passage of time led to the decline in numbers. An estimated 40,000 tigers roamed India at the time of independence. The number now in wild is just 1000.
Tigers habit a variety of habitats like dense forests of Central India, deserts of the Rajasthan, terai forests of Uttarakhand, swamps of Sunderbans, foothills of Himalayas, snowy landscapes of Siberia in Russia. Tigers are highly adaptable animals and this explains their survival in the hostile conditions. The prey base of tigers is vast that includes animals like sambhar, Nilghai, Chital, monkeys, peacocks, barking deer, gaur, calves of elephants and sometimes rhinoceros. They devour any kind of prey. These adaptable characters make them successful creatures.
But these animals are now under severe threat and as per tiger conservationists tigers are on the verge of extinction. WWF for Nature has predicted 2022 as dooms day. Now 3200 wild tigers on this planet are left and India has perhaps around 1000 tigers. This figure may be near the real figures though officials claim 1400-1500. But official figures are collected on unscientific techniques like pugmarks of tigers which is not very reliable technique in todays contact. Secondly, figures are compiled on reports of highly untrained forest guards.
The reality is tigers are under threat of extinction and reasons are:-
There is continuous decline in the forest cover of country and this is the main reason for declining population of tigers. There is also fragmentation of habitats and tigers are not allowed to live the way these are used to inhabit. There is decline in prey base of tigers due to habitat destruction. The existence of adequate good and habitat is sine qua non for survival of any animal.
Tigers poaching is going on in uncontrolled pace in all tiger reserves. The motivation for killing a tiger is huge money it gets as dead. Its skin, bones, penis can separately fetch US $50,000 in international markets.Tigers are poached and sold regularly in central Asian markets.The seizures of tiger skins and bones every now and then tells the gloomy picture.
(3)Callousness of people:-
Indian society has been changing and due to soaring population there is continuous struggle for land and food. Tigers are regularly poisoned by villagers as a revenge for killing their cattle. A grass root level campaign aimed at the rural uneducated people is the need of the hour.
Forest guards, the grass-root saviors of tigers are under-paid, unmotivated, untrained & marginalised, in contrast, the poaches use sophisticated weapons & very motivated. How protectors of tigers can save them with bare hands & diverted minds.
Proposed Actions to save tigers--
The most significant part of the tiger conservation strategy shall be protection of remaining tiger lands. Mining & other operation in tiger territories and neighboring forests used as corridors by tigers shall be stopped immediately and habitations around and within tiger areas shall be removed amicably without any man-animal conflict. Undisturbed forest shall provide good supply of preys crucial for tiger survival.
(B)Save the protectors:-
Forest guards should be motivated by giving facilities, good working conditions, automatic weapon, trainings and should be guided by dedicated officers. Forest guards need to provide a fresh approach supported by the system so that they get the confidence in whatever they are doing.
(C)Reward for tiger killings:-
A mechanism for the quick disbursal of reward money to affected people on killing of livestock should be in place. In the absence of quick mechanism devoid of red tapism ,revenge killings of tigers will continue.
(D)Address traffic woes of reserves:-
The traffic through protected areas shall be regulated strictly and punitive measures shall be imposed for violations.
by: deepa gupta
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