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India tiger population declines

su-47

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India's tiger population has fallen drastically during the past five years, according to a new government census.
The increasingly endangered animals' numbers have fallen to 1,411, down from 3,642 in the last major survey in 2002.

Wildlife activists blame poaching and urbanisation for the decline and say the authorities must do more.

Last year, federal authorities announced the creation of a special force to protect tigers. But it is unclear whether it has worked.

The latest census, released on Tuesday, said that there had been a decline in tiger population all over India.

The only exception was the southern state of Tamil Nadu where the animals' numbers had gone up to 76 from 60 five years ago.

'Time to act'

Counting could not be carried out in the states of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand due to law and order problems, the report said.

And the exercise was still going on in Sundarbans in the eastern state of West Bengal, the report added.

Rajesh Gopal of India's Project Tiger said the census showed that "though the tiger has suffered due to direct poaching, loss of quality habitat and loss of its prey, there is still hope".

Wildlife experts say urgent efforts should be made to save the animals.

"It is now time to act and save tigers from human beings. We have to create inviolate areas for tigers and provide modern weapons to forest guards," conservationist Valmik Thapar told Hindustan Times newspaper.

Experts blame the government for failing to crack down on poachers and the illegal trade in tiger skins.

Tigers are poached for their body parts - skins are prized for fashion and tiger bones are used for oriental medicines.

Tiger pelts can fetch up to $12,500 in China.

According to reports, there were 40,000 tigers in India a century ago.

The country is home to 40% of the world's tigers, with 23 tiger reserves in 17 states.

BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | India tiger population declines
 

su-47

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I think nearly every Indian is to blame for this. we take the news lighlty and then get it out of our head. the government is not taking the seriously enough. they see this as a minor, annoying factor. the fact that poachers can easily shoot these cats show that there are not enough forest rangers and there is corruption in the forestry department. in any other country, action would have been taken long ago.

I would like to remind everybody that patriotism is not merely the love for the armed forces of your nation, but also for the values, norms and culture of your nation. The tiger is the national animal of our country and our government isnt doing enough to protect them. it is our duty to mother india to protect these animals.

i am personally going to write a letter to the Ministry of Environment and Forest and about the issue. i dont know whether it will make a difference, but i cant just sit back and do nothing.

so if you are a patriotic indian, or someone concerned for the well being of wildlife, i urge you to lodge your protest to the Ministry of Environment and Forest, because together we can make a difference.

the email address for the Madhya Pradesh regional office is rccfwr@sancharnet.in. Madhya Pradesh is the state with the largest number of tigers in India
 

solid snake

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This is very sad, but I think number 1 cause of animals dying out in South Asia is increasing jungle cover and habitat destruction.
 

su-47

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This is very sad, but I think number 1 cause of animals dying out in South Asia is increasing jungle cover and habitat destruction.
The government has a duty to make sure that jungles are preserved and that humans dont clear jungles for inhabitation. yet the government turns a blind eye every time people clear forests to build settlements! the govt sees environmental preservation as a chore than a necessity
 

solid snake

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The government has a duty to make sure that jungles are preserved and that humans dont clear jungles for inhabitation. yet the government turns a blind eye every time people clear forests to build settlements! the govt sees environmental preservation as a chore than a necessity
It aches my heart to see large forested areas chopped down to make way for highways and housing areas. That is the trend worldwide. In my region of the state, housing communities are expanding further and further south. Areas which used to be thick forrests are now cleared to make way for construction.

We used to have a deer population here, but it's becoming rarer and rarer to see them anymore.
 

asaad-ul-islam

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in afghanistan and rest of central asia, there used to be a species of tiger called the caspian tiger, now extinct. Just a question, I visited pakistan this summer. we went to farm outside karachi near the highway and there was a injured lioness that was being taken care of by the villagers. They claimed that they found it injured. Does pakistan have any existing populations of Asiatic lions?
 

Spring Onion

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Chinese snatching our tigers too; readers upset
17 Feb 2008, 1100 hrs IST,Devyani Mohan,INDIATIMES NEWS NETWORK
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It’s official - India has just 1,411 tigers. The 2002 census figure of 3,500 tigers was clearly an effort to cover up sarkari failure to protect the glorious cat

The tiger is on the run with nowhere to hide. The National Tiger Conservation Authority has reported that only 1,411 tigers remain in the wild in India, numbers substantially lower than was previously assumed. In Rajasthan and the Eastern Ghats in particular, the tiger is in dire straits.

TOI Online readers such as Kiron Rao in Bangalore, Rajinder in Jammu, and Vinay from Tokyo say, our inability to save our nation’s pride is a ‘national shame’.

Mumtaj in Chennai feels the responsibility lies with us. “Human beings should realize they cannot survive alone in this world without a balanced green environment and other living beings.”

Hunt the hunters: Rampant poaching is the biggest reason for the fall in tiger numbers. Readers feel harsh punishments can only deter the poachers. Some like Ravi from Bangalore, Vinayak Gupta and Amit in Delhi, George from UK, Arvind Rnagan in Canada, AK in Montreal, Parag Dave from Gujarat, and Mohit Sood suggest ‘shoot at sight’ orders or the death penalty as possible deterrents.

Viveka in Bangalore says “killing a tiger is equivalent to the murder of a human being!” Vinay from Mysore, Doha resident Raj and Tushar also think that a nexus between forest officials and poachers is adding fuel to the fire, think

Politicians’ apathy: Many also blame the political class. “It’s a shame we humans have finally succeeded in driving this wonderful creation of nature to the brink of extinction! Let’s respect each other's space and maintain the delicate balance of our ecosystem. Politicians, who waste time on baseless issues must do something immediately,” according to Jo from Melbourne.

Yogesh from Ahmedabad, Aniket from Mumbai, Hemant and Krishna Kumar in Bangalore and Harish in Gurgaon also holds successive governments responsible.

“It’s a shame on our part that we are losing such a fantastic creature to human greed. Unless the government does something immediately, the tigers in India will be a thing of past,” writes Eshwar from California.

International clampdown : Shalc from India feels the Chinese are to blame. Pressure has to be put on the Chinese to ban tiger parts trade, he says. “If they continue to demand tiger parts, these tigers will die.”

“Between the poachers, corrupt government staff, and the voracious Chinese, the Indian tiger will soon disappear,” adds Probhat Raha from Ontario, Canada.

Deforestation: Loss of natural habitat due to rapid urbanisation, industrialisation and encroachment in the buffer zones is also taking its toll on the majestic animal. Naxal activity in select reserves is worsening the situation.

Olaf from Brisbane writes, “Builders and common people have encroached the wilds and the government is letting them... Everybody must feel responsible
The only way to save these tigers is to curb the human population in the country. Else, humans will destroy almost every single resource in this country, adds Thomas living in Seattle, USA and Deepak Vohra.

Avinash from Kolkata says, “Poaching, shrinking forests, increasing human encroachment is making the natural cycle precarious. Unless the laws are implemented effectively the situation is not going to change.”

Amitosh in Bangalore however feels we had already reached the point of no return. “First the tiger, and then other species will disappear.”

Not too late: Clearly the tiger was facing a tough battle for survival. Despite the hype, the magnificent animal had pretty much been left to fend for itself; now is the time to come to its rescue.

Sundar from New Jersey says, “Strict measures should be taken to deal with the poaching menace. The law and its implementing authorities should have more teeth and modern gadgets [should be made available] to detect and prevent foul play. As regards a tiger’s natural habitat, we human beings need to learn to live within our bounds and not encroach on forest land. Interestingly, such issues are not in the agenda of any political parties.”

Increase forest cover: Planting more trees and reducing pollution would assist in increasing the forest cover, suggests Raj in USA and Venkat in Bangalore

Mumbai residents Shailesh and Bhargav, and Pranav from Coventry, UK suggests similar steps including allocation of more funds towards environment protection, limiting deforestation, enforcing strict poaching laws, and curbing movement inside the park and buffer zones.

“Sophisticated firearms and better equipment for forest guards will help,” thinks Roopa Esther living in Noida. Gurgaon resident Sarjeet feels strict measure such as temporary shut down of the forest for the public may also work.

Tiger Tourism: Adnan (Dubai) Nirmal Jana (Gurgaon) and Suvid Bajaj (London) think promotion of wildlife tourism with involvement of the locals can benefit the tiger. The funds collected will be used for the local people.

“Make villagers feel responsible for preserving their wildlife. Reward informants so that it is more lucrative than poaching tigers or trading in tiger parts,” are steps that AK from Montreal and Jacob George, UAE, suggest.

Captive breeding : Readers including Jatin in USA, Sathesh John in Michigan, Mukesh Samtani in Ahmedabad, P Basu and Anand from Bangalore also propose captive breeding to increase the tiger population.

Export the Tiger: For Col. Vijay Rajdhan in Dehradun, and Vineet and MS Kamath (Bangalore), the tigers’ best chance lies in being sent out to a more economically advanced and environmentally conscious country. But Mukesh Samtani and Aditi Deopujari did not agree - India needed to be self sufficient.

Public awareness: Meenakshi in USA and Shrikant Ashar from Mumbai feel it is time the youth take up the cause to save the endangered animal. Schools and colleges can include the study of the environment and preservation of tigers in their curriculum.

But action had to be taken now; the day is not far when the most charismatic species on Earth, and sadly the most threatened, will only be seen in the confines of a zoo.

Chetan in Bangalore thinks the media should create public awareness. “A campaign similar to the one on Global Warming should be initiated,” he suggests. Murali Gopalan and Arun Nayak (Bangalore) and Kartik living in Chennai suggest the Times of India should take the lead...

Survival of the fittest? But this NRI in the US draws on Darwin's concepts of Natural Selection. “Are we trying to prove Darwin's theory of "Survival of the fittest" wrong? There are thousands of species that have been wiped from our planet and many will be wiped in coming years. Which species are to be saved or not is not our call....”


Chinese snatching our tigers too; readers upset-Flora & Fauna-Planet SOS-The Times of India
 

Flintlock

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I think nearly every Indian is to blame for this. we take the news lighlty and then get it out of our head. the government is not taking the seriously enough. they see this as a minor, annoying factor. the fact that poachers can easily shoot these cats show that there are not enough forest rangers and there is corruption in the forestry department. in any other country, action would have been taken long ago.
Yaar people don't have enough to eat, who will worry about tigers.

It is unfortunate, but the natural world itself is nearing extinction.

Mankind will pay a heavy price. You know it.
 

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Six tigers killed in six weeks18 Feb 2008, 0411 hrs IST,Avijit Ghosh,TNN
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NEW DELHI: Tigers continue to die across India. Poisoned, being killed in road accidents or getting mortally wounded in alleged territorial fights — since January 1, 2008, at least six more tigers have been found dead in several wildlife sanctuaries ranging from Katerniaghat in UP to Wynad in Kerala.

That’s not all. During the same period, wildlife officials have also seized two tiger skins and three bone pieces of the endangered animal, as per information collated by Wildlife Protection Society of India (See graphic). Forest authorities say this reaffirms that poachers and wildlife traders continue to be active.

According to them, man-animal conflict too has escalated in recent times. For instance, a top Karnataka police officer reveals that one of the villagers arrested last year for killing two female tigers in Chamrajnagar district was frank enough to own up the job since the tiger had killed one of his two bullocks and maimed the other. "There is a sense of revenge among them," says K S N Chikkerur, IGP (CID), Forest.

According to Chikkerur, villagers often complain that the compensation provided by the forest department for cattle loss is meagre.

"Compensation must increase and it has to be quick," he says. "We need to understand that villagers living on the fringe of wildlife reserves are our best bet in tiger protection."

However, the police officer also admits villagers are also employed by poachers to carry out wildlife crimes. "Some of them have confessed to selling tiger skins for as little as Rs 1,500 whereas the poacher makes huge profits in the international market," says Chikkerur.

A senior officer from an UP tiger reserve also admits that wildlife authorities are unable to rein in poachers.

"To provide protection from poachers, we need fast-moving vehicles, modern communication equipment and weapons and young, trained staff. We are short on all these counts," he says.

Wildlife activists say forest officials sometimes cover-up a tiger’s unnatural death by attributing it to a territorial fight. They also feel much of the tiger protection is only paper work and platitudes. For instance, as Belinda Wright, executive director, WPSI points out that the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau set up last year "is not effectively operational yet, and until an experienced police officer is appointed to head the bureau it is unlikely that it will be."

Wright believes the most immediate requirement is drastically improved enforcement. "We need dedicated tiger protection forces in all the areas with high density tiger populations, and better cross-border enforcement," she says. Wright adds India also needs to encourage China to make their ban on trade in tiger parts permanent and to improve its enforcement against the illegal trade.

Until then, the number of tigers will continue to diminish alarmingly. The latest tiger census figures released earlier this month showed a mere 1,411 tigers alive as compared to 3,508 in 1997, a drastic dip of 60 per cent.
avijit.ghosh@timesgroup.com

Six tigers killed in six weeks-India-The Times of India
 

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:cry:


Pregnant tigress becomes victim of human wrath

19 Feb 2008, 0012 hrs IST,TIMES NEWS NETWORK & AGENCIES

CANNING/NEW DELHI: These are hard times for the big cat. In another example of man-animal conflict, a pregnant tigress was badly injured by villagers in West Bengal on Monday. That's not all. Another tiger was found paralysed in Madhya Pradesh even as police confiscated three tiger skins in Kerala.

The tigress had strayed into human habitations in the Sunderbans and had injured three persons in South 24-Parganas district's Deulbari village. Enraged villagers stoned the animal.

The frightened big cat, which had to swim across two rivers, Matla and Makri, to reach the village, climbed atop a banyan tree.

Forest guards encircled the tree with a net hoping to trap the animal. But the locals set the tree on fire. On seeing the flames, the scared animal jumped on the net, tore it apart and escaped to an abandoned village hut. Later the tigress became unconscious and forest officials captured it. It was put in a cage and bundled onto a waiting launch. The forest guards were also pelted with stones by the villagers. Five of them are injured.

In Madhya Pradesh, an eight-year-old male tiger was found injured with its hind legs paralysed at Bandherwar village, 25 km from Satna town on Sunday. Panna Tiger Reserve authorities have tranquilised the tiger and taken it to Bhopal for treatment. Nobody knows how the injury occurred.

Meanwhile, trading in tiger skin continues. According to information collated by Wildlife Protection Society of India, in the past 48 hours, forest officials have recovered three tiger skins in two separate cases in Kerala's Wynad district. On February 16, 2008, two tiger skins were seized at Sulthan Bathery.

The forest department has arrested one person in this connection. In another case, the skin of an adult tiger was confiscated at Mananthavady. One person has been arrested in this case too.

Pregnant tigress becomes victim of human wrath-Flora & Fauna-Planet SOS-The Times of India
 

su-47

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we'll have to insert tracking chips into the tigers. putting tracking collars wont do, since they can get damaged.

also, i think we should start cloning tigers. clone a lot of females, and then use artificial insemination to ensure that they all get pregnant. keep them under strict watch and when they give birth, insert tracking devices into the cubs. this way we'll be able to keep track of the tiger population.
 

Flintlock

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^^^Cloning tigers is a bad idea. There is something called genetic diversity, which is essential if tigers are to survive as a species.
 

su-47

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only the females should be cloned, and that too, different females, not the same one. then they should be made pregnant by artifical insemination by different males, not the same one. then the cubs will be genetically different. only a few will be genetically similar. thus genetic diversity will be achieved after a generation or two, as the cubs grow up and breed with each other.
 

JEFF

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only the females should be cloned, and that too, different females, not the same one. then they should be made pregnant by artifical insemination by different males, not the same one. then the cubs will be genetically different. only a few will be genetically similar. thus genetic diversity will be achieved after a generation or two, as the cubs grow up and breed with each other.
Having clones of tigers would not going to solve the ground reality. The problem is that preserving the ecological balance of our natural environment and forest. There is a big difference between having artificial breeded tigers and those tigers which are natural breeding in jungles. To maintain Ecological balance we need to prevent depleting population of tigers from our forest, since they are one among the several elements which plays important role in maintaining environment's ecological balance. We need to hold in our mind that 90% of our water resources in the form of rivers and ponds in our country is hailing from regions where there is significant presense of tigers. Continous depletion of tiger population means, inturppation in ecological balance which would cause serious catastrope in the form of draught, floods etc.
 

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