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Save The Tiger

Thursday, February 4, 2010

At the turn of the 20th century, according to sources, India had an estimated 40,000 tigers in the wild. In 2002, based on pug mark census, this number was 3,642. As per the monitoring exercise by Wildlife Institute of India in association with National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Government of India using camera traps, in 2008 we were left with only 1,411 tigers. This number is so small that they will be gone soon if we don’t wake up to the crisis.

The tiger is not just a charismatic species. It’s not just a wild animal living in some forest either. The tiger is a unique animal which plays a pivotal role in the health and diversity of an ecosystem. It is a top predator and is at the apex of the food chain and keeps the population of wild ungulates in check, thereby maintaining the balance between prey herbivores and the vegetation upon which they feed. Therefore the presence of tigers in the forest is an indicator of the well being of the ecosystem. The extinction of this top predator is an indication that its ecosystem is not sufficiently protected, and neither wouldit exist for long thereafter.

If the tigers go extinct, the entire system would collapse. For e.g. when the Dodos went extinct in Mauritius, one species of Acacia tree stopped regenerating completely. So when a species goes extinct, it leaves behind a scar, which affects the entire ecosystem. Another reason why we need to save the tiger is that our forests are water catchment areas.

When we protect one tiger, we protect about a 100 sq. km of area and thus save other species living in its habitat. Therefore, it’s not just about saving a beautiful animal. It is about making sure that we live a little longer as the forests are known to provide ecological services like clean air, water, pollination, temperature regulation etc. This way, our planet can still be home to our children.

Spread the word: Go out loud and tell others that tigers are dying and that they need our help. You can form forums (or join existing ones) on the web for discussions and exchange views on tiger conservation. Reach school going children. WWF can help you in this regard.

Be a responsible tourist: The wilderness is to be experienced and not to be disturbed and polluted. Follow the forest department guidelines when visiting any wilderness area, tiger reserve in particular. As the saying goes ‘Don’t leave thing anything behind except foot steps, and don’t take anything except memories.’

Write to the policy makers: If you are really concerned and feel that more needs to be done for tiger conservation, then write polite letters to the decision makers - the Prime Minister, the Minister for Environment and Forests or even your local MP.

Informing the nearest police station: If you know of any information on poaching or trade of illegal wildlife. You can also contact TRAFFIC- an organisation fighting the powerful poachers and pass on the information to them.

Reducing pressure on natural resources: By reducing the use of products derived from forests, such as timber and paper.

Note: I have taken this topic from WWFINDIA and for more information please visit that site. Thank you!!!


Pallavi February 4, 2010 at 9:18 AM  

The number is so scary...
Don't we have a way to increase them???? such a shame that we can't protect the species which is our National Animal.

srinivas February 4, 2010 at 9:27 AM  

save forests

santosh February 5, 2010 at 2:45 AM  

Exactly.. I completely agree with your words pallavi..
We are in such a position where we cant even save our national animal.
Huh.. shame on us.

ABHINAV February 6, 2010 at 10:58 PM  

I was really shocked when i saw that number 1411...Atleast now,Govt has to take some serious steps to protect them, and make some plans to increase the count....

santosh March 9, 2010 at 5:52 AM  

It seems now this number has even come down... its now 1408 as per my knowledge..
I really dont understand.. WHAT THE HELL GOVT IS DOING?
They dont even have any concern towards our NATIONAL ANIMAL...

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