Help Save Tigers
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The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reported in 2016 that the number of wild tigers increased for the first time in a century, from 3200 in 2010 to 3890. Since the start of 2016 approximately 196 tiger deaths have been recorded in India. That accounts for 5% of the world’s wild tiger population. If the current trend continues the population increase will be in vain.
Tigers are the largest members of the cat family and are extremely powerful predators. They are at the top of the food chain and keep the deer population under control. An uncontrolled population of dominant herbivores eats up all the available vegetation and greatly affects the entire ecosystem. Tigers maintain the balance and keep forest ecosystems healthy.
Tigers are an integral part of India’s identity. They are the national animals of India and share a picture with elephants and rhinos in the ten rupee note to signify the diversity of Indian wildlife. People come from all over the world to see tigers and help generate large revenue in tourism. An economic evaluation of six tiger reserves; Corbett, Kaziranga, Kanha, Sunderbans, Ranthambore and Periyar found that the selected reserves give annual monetary benefits worth 79.7 billion rupees. Now imagine the total economic value of all 50 tiger reserves in India.
To avail these monetary benefits we just need to divert the flow of money into conservation. Forest rangers frequently get into trouble with poachers and illegal miners. An increasing number of them are being killed in the line of duty. This combined with the lack of resources has caused them to be spread thin. More vehicles and firearms need to be provided to the forest department to prevent this. Extra money should be allocated for camera traps and radio-tracking collars. They help track individuals and provide important information about their behaviour and movements to researchers.
Buffer zones need to be increased to reduce man-animal conflict. This can be done by giving compensation to nearby land owners so that they can buy land elsewhere. Building artificial watering holes inside protected areas helps reduce man-animal conflict further. They are especially necessary because summers are getting harsher due to climate change. With more water sources animals will not need to venture outside protected areas in search of water. Wildlife corridors are also necessary because they allow animals to safely travel between protected areas.
These measures will not only help tigers but numerous other animals. They need to be implemented as soon as possible to protect them. Please sign the petition and help save tigers.
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