A healthy ecosystem involves tribal communities as tigers thrive in areas inhabited by people: Building trust and fostering pride in their accomplishments – World Tiger Day 2015

Global Tiger Day was celebrated by the students of Adi Dravida welfare Middle school, Udayadi in Kanyakumari district on Wednesday sponsored by Tribal Foundation. A Procession was held, flagged off by Forest Ranger R. Nagarajan of Boothapondy Range. Some of the processionists were masked entirely with tiger dress and all other students wore tiger face masks.

S S Davidson of the Foundation who organized the rally said that the presence of the tiger denotes the well balanced ecological status of the forests which is healthy and wealthy. The animal is symbolic of the good climate, prevalence of all other animals in the ladder of ranging from the lower forms to the higher. As the population of the bid cat is decreasing, the awareness rally was held, he said.

Tiger is one of the most admired animals, but also vulnerable to extinction. Global Tiger Day is held annually to give worldwide attention to the reservation of tigers. It is both an awareness day as a celebration as wild tigers are too close to extinction. Many animal welfare organisations pledged to help this wonderful creature. The goal of Tiger Day is to promote the protection and expansion of the wild tigers habitats and to gain support through awareness for tiger conservation.

Tigers lost 93% of their natural habitat due to the expansion of cities and agriculture by humans. Fewer tigers can survive in small, scattered islands of habitat, which lead to a higher risk of inbreeding.

Tiger populations across the world are currently near their lowest point in history, with as few as 3,200 estimated tigers remaining in the wild. India accounts for nearly 50 percent of this magnificent animal, who face the dire risk of extinction unless immediate and drastic measures are adopted to safeguard its survival.

Tiger populations have drastically dwindled around the world in the past few decades due to a myriad of reasons and circumstances ranging from deforestation, habitat fragmentation, poaching, loss of prey and infectious diseases among several others.

Global Tiger Day has helped to link with communities living in tiger landscapes and the habitats adjoining forest peripheries. The celebration of the Day helps towards spreading awareness about conservation, and to build trust with community members living in an around the forest habitats and promote pride in local communities on their conservation efforts and accomplishments.

Source: courtesy S.S. Davidson © 2015

The Hindu, Nagercoil, August 6, 2015

[…] S.S. Davidson of Tribal Foundation, who organised the rally, said that that the presence of the tiger denoted the well-balanced ecological status of the forests, which is healthy. The animal is symbolic of the good climate, prevalence of all other animals.

The Global Tiger Day is held to give worldwide attention to the preservation of tigers, he said. It is also to promote the protection and expansion of the wild tigers’ habitats and to gain support through awareness for tiger conservation.

Source: Global Tiger Day observed – The Hindu
Address: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/global-tiger-day-observed/article7506179.ece
Date Visited: Sun Aug 09 2015 10:42:21 GMT+0200 (CEST)

The Hindu, 

Tribespeople who were forced forgo other means of livelihood after the sanctuary became a tiger reserve are now employed as tourist guides, forest watchers, and helping hands for eco-tourism initiatives.

K.A. Shaji

[…] Though a school dropout from Sunkam tribal settlement deep inside the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, S. Babu holds the answer to the raging debate on tiger versus tribal, where tiger conservation and livelihood of forest-dwelling tribespeople fail to find a common ground.

A Malashar tribal man, Babu was seen busy on the eve of International Tiger Day, selecting a set of tiger images he captured from the sanctuary for a photo exhibition slated for Wednesday at the Palakkad District Collectorate.

The exhibition to be organised by the Parambikulam Tiger Foundation, comprising images captured by tribal forest watchers and tourist guides, will introduce to the outside world the rich biodiversity of the reserve and highlight its tiger conservation efforts. […]

According to B.N. Anjan Kumar, Deputy Director of the reserve, 234 members of six tribal settlements participate in the community-based eco-tourism now being practised at Parambikulam.

The tribespeople who were forced to sell their cattle and forgo other means of livelihood after the sanctuary became a tiger reserve are now employed as tourist guides, forest watchers, and helping hands for eco-tourism initiatives. The initiative was launched six years ago. Forest authorities could make rapid strides in initiatives relating to eco-tourism and effective forest management through the involvement of tribals. […]

Tribespeople have become part of the Social Tiger Protection Force and are effectively combating forest and wildlife-related offences. […]

Source: Parambikulam Tiger Reserve: Where tigers, tribes coexist – The Hindu
Address: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/where-tigers-tribes-coexist/article7476002.ece?utm_source=vuukle&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=vuukle_referral
Date Visited: Sun Aug 09 2015 10:58:51 GMT+0200 (CEST)

The Hindu, HYDERABAD, July 23, 2015

K. VENKATESHWARLU

Thousands of tribal people from Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh ‘evicted’ in the name of forest conservation. The investigation is sure to trigger a debate. […]

Studies have found that tigers thrive in areas inhabited by people, the report says. And while the Baiga tribe people have lived alongside the tiger for generations and regard the animal as their “little brother,” Kanha’s mass tourism has been called “incompatible and detrimental” to conserving the species by conservation experts. […]

Source: Mass evictions from tiger reserves: French TV – The Hindu
Address: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/mass-evictions-from-tiger-reserves-french-tv/article7454461.ece
Date Visited: Sun Aug 09 2015 11:05:11 GMT+0200 (CEST)

Downtoearth.org.in, Tuesday 20 January 2015

Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava

[…] India now hosts 70 per cent of the world’s tiger population which has declined by over 90 per cent in the past fifty years. Indian tiger numbers had hit an all time low of 1,411 in 2006 with a complete wipe out in the established tiger reserves such as Sariska in Rajasthan. The current estimate shows that from then onwards the tiger population in the country has been increasing at a rate of 6 per cent per year.

“This is a very healthy and natural rate for any carnivore population to grow in a healthy ecosystem. This proves that most of the tiger habitats are still in a good condition. The single most important factor that has contributed in the growth is the control on poaching due to strict protection measures,” said Y V Jhala of Wildlife Institute on India, one of the principal investigators for the report. […]

In the Central Indian Landscape and the Eastern Ghats, tiger numbers have increased substantially in Madhya Pradesh and marginally in Maharashtra and Rajasthan. However, the number of big cats continues to decline in northern Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Jharkhand. Officials at NTCA hinted that Naxalite insurgency is affecting the surveillance of forests by the forest staff. The increase in tiger numbers in Chhattisgarh is due to additional assessment of tiger population from the Indravati tiger reserve which was never surveyed in the past 12 years.

Single largest population is in Western Ghats

In the Western Ghats, both the population and the tiger ranges have increased. Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have registered an increase in tiger population while Goa, which did not have tiger presence till seven to eight years ago, have a persistent presence of about five tigers. Tigers in the contiguous forest patches, comprising of Mudumalai, Bandipur, Nagarhole and Wayanad tiger reserves in the Western Ghats, have the world’s single largest tiger population, estimated to be over 570 tigers.  The northeasten landscape has also shown a remarkable increase in the tiger population with Kaziranga National Park having the highest numbers.

While most of the habitats might be reaching their carrying capacity with the increase in tiger numbers, the report says that forests of Sanjay and Guru Ghasidas forests on the border of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Kawal and Srirailam forests in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Simlipal and Satkosia tiger reserves in Odisha,  Manas reserve in Assam, Buxa reserve in West Bengal, Palamau reserve in Jharkhand and Achanakmar and Indravati tiger reserves in Chhattisgarh, still have potential of increasing tiger population. “If conservation efforts are focused on these landscapes, together they can support an additional population of at least 1,000 tigers,” adds Jhala. He, however, adds that the future of tiger conservation will depend on ensuring a healthy gene flow between these tiger populations, for which securing corridors between the tiger habitats will be crucial in the future.

Source: India’s tiger population bounces to 2,226 from a low of 1,411
Address: http://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/indias-tiger-population-bounces-to-2226-from-a-low-of-1411-48314
Date Visited: Sun Aug 09 2015 10:29:07 GMT+0200 (CEST)

thebetterindia.com, July 30, 2015

Shreya Pareek

[…] As per the countrywide tiger assessment report for 2014, India is home to more that 70 percent of the world’s tiger population. As per the report, the tiger population in the country is estimated to be around 2,226, which is a whopping 30 percent more than the last count of 1706 in 2010.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar termed it as a “success story“, as not too long ago, India’s tiger population had come down to 1,411 in 2006. The low number of wild cats in India back then was a huge drop from about 100,000 tigers at the beginning of the 20th century. India also lost 64 tigers for various reasons in 2014. A lot of measures were taken to improve the condition.

Karnataka tops the chart with 406 tigers in the region. This is followed by Uttarakhand which has 340 tigers, Tamil Nadu with 229, Madhya Pradesh with 208, and Maharashtra with 190. There are 48 tiger reserves in India and the data was collected using 9,735 cameras to track the tigers.  […]

Source: Roar! 70% of the World’s Tigers Live in India Now – The Better India
Address: http://www.thebetterindia.com/30238/tiger-population-in-india/
Date Visited: Sun Aug 09 2015 10:25:33 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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Eco-tourism guidelines – Down To Earth

  • Tourism in protected areas should be community-based. It should not be allowed in areas from where forest dwellers have been relocated. Forest dwellers should be given priority in income generation through tourism
  • Tourism should be phased out from core areas. As an interim measure, community tourism can be allowed in maximum 20 per cent of the core area, which spreads over 500 sq km. In smaller core areas, tourism should be allowed in maximum 10 per cent of the area. In return, 20-30 per cent of the buffer area should be restored as wildlife habitat
  • Hotels and resorts within five km of national parks and sanctuaries should be charged at least 10 per cent of their turnover as conservation cess. The fund will be spent on forest resource conservation, managing human-animal conflict and generating income for communities. Home stays will be exempted from the cess
  • Infrastructure should not affect wildlife corridor and include low-impact architecture, waste recycling and rainwater harvesting. At least 50 per cent of the energy should come from renewables
  • Number of tourists and vehicles should be limited on the basis of available area, disturbance caused to wildlife and management capacity of the staff
  • A district-level committee, involving officials and people, should be formed to monitor practices of tour operators. States must amend rules and regulations to conform to the guidelines in a year

Author(s) Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava , July 13, 2012

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