Yesterday, while surfing T.V. channels, just caught a glimpse of Dhoni. Firstly took it for some other brand jabbering but next second, it seemed for a good cause-he was talking about Aircel’s Save Tiger project. I was reminded, as a child, my visit to Zoo always meant for Zebras and Tigers, though I said a Hi to all the animals, but was always caught in my fascination for the beautiful striped ones. In addition never appreciated the cages but obviously it couldn’t be the other way. But Oh my God, Its 1411. Isn’t the TIGER -the national animal or have we thought of another as its replacement?

1411-Well this doesn’t happen to be any magic figure but the total number of tigers left in India according to the latest census. A dismal figure indeed! So finally, the Ministry of Environment and Forests are awake from the deep slumber. After the poaching outbreak in Sariska, Project tiger was started in 1973 to save the dwindling populations of tigers. But after more than 30 years, see the figures seem so promising. The number has reduced from 4000 to 1411.In addition to the poor figures, According to the documents available with CNN-IBN, 80 per cent of the tiger reserves across the country don’t even have a tiger conservation plan. Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) have criticized that many tiger reserves do not even adhere to the prescribed norms for a core area or the protected zone of a sanctuary. I am surprised at the height of lack of commitment and seriousness of the concerned state governments.

Today there are 37 tiger sanctuaries in the country spread across 17 states. After googling, to my shock, I found that not one state has utilized funds fully released by Centre and hence are entirely responsible for the Project Tiger fail. I question why the National Tiger Conservation Authority and the centre have lagged behind in keeping a check in the proper utilization of funds by the states? Everyone is out to make money. They are only working on Project Tiger on papers with no conservation plans, no steering committee, no funding mechanism and buffer zone. Reiterates the story of Jungle Raaz in the country, the tiger’s reserves no exception. India can never have solutions for Real problems, the concerned are so busy with the internal affairs of political parties and mudslinging. And obviously plundering the country’s wealth and pocketing it for their extravagance.

 Tiger is scientifically known as Panthera tigris.It has eight known races. The world census also shows just 5000 tigers in the whole of it. So we are not far from the day when they would be swiped off completely. At this point of time Western Ghats, Central India, Terai and Assam hold most of the tigers in India. I have checked that we have just improved the ways of counting tigers and have moved on from pugmarks to additional scientific methods like the Camera Trap Method and recording prey densities of animals like the deer and the chinkara. But what has kept us quite far from improving the status of the endangered specie seems no more a mystery. The present figures evidently talks about the negligence of authorities towards the alarming situation of the tiger population in the country. And as always the blame game has surfaced above.

 Now, they have also come up with several reasons for the growing extinction like depletion of their chief prey like deer, wild pigs and wild cattle by local people, the unchecked poaching for the tiger skins, etc. We have 300,000 square kilometers of tiger habitat but much of it is empty of tigers because there is not enough food for them to survive and breed successfully. But where are the conversationalists? Why has the grim situation been identified so late? The huge funds have found the wrong pockets and have been forgotten. Why no scientific ways of breed enhancement have been unearthed till date or we have failed to adopt one.

 I feel that few Conservation measures have been adopted but obviously quite late. It is time to call for trained conservationists and conservation scientists. The need of the hour is move beyond seat-of-the-pants management to more result oriented programs. Special anti-poaching drive and stringent action in cases of tiger killings is a must. One needs to understand that the extinction of an Apex predator means it will disturb the entire ecology, it would bring unforeseen climatic and ecological imbalance. Calling Tiger Lovers, let’s move for the cause. Is someone listening?



 says the Tiger!!!

Written by

Manjulika Pramod

An engineer who loves to be called a blogger more!
Traveler, short-story writer, voracious reader, foodie is the better me!
Reading, eating, traveling, exploring, observing and blogging are the beautiful highs of my life.