Conservation of Tiger has long term impact on Biodiversity

Tigers have declined globally due to direct hunting and habitat destruction.

International Tiger Day 

By Bibekananda Pattnaik: At a time when global biodiversity faces one of its worst crises due to human actions of habitat destruction, climate change, pollution and direct exploitation of species, the tiger ‘Panthera Tigris’ requires vast habitat for its survive. Tigers have declined globally due to direct hunting and habitat destruction.

The continued illegal trade of tiger body parts and products driven by high demand in China and South East Asia threatens the species with extinction.

Taking cognizance of the dire situation facing by the wild tiger for survival, world leaders and conservation practitioners met at St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2010 to discuss strategies for tiger recovery. This event was the first in human history where country leaders met to discuss conservation of a species. From that day, 29th July was celebrated as International Tiger Day. The outcome was a Global Tiger Recovery Programme that outlined strategies that may be undertaken by 13 range countries to increase tiger numbers from a global estimate of 3,643 in the year 2010 to 5,845 by 2022.

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Government of India has already taken strong measure to counter the threats to this majestic animal and banned their hunting and launched Project Tiger in 1973. Gradually strong measures were taken like amendment of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972 in 2006 by the Indian Parliament. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau were created as statutory bodies.

The most important aspects of tiger protection are that habitat of tiger reserve to be protected by scientific management.

Only laws and the technical expertise are not enough, on the local communities’ part it also needs to be understood that their participation is also important and they should be provided better economic opportunities so that they have a better source of income than poaching tigers.

To address this, a local repository of funds for each tiger reserve was created in the form of a Tiger Conservation Foundation. Profits emanating from tourism activities based on tigers were to be shared with buffer zone communities by the surveys was designed, tested and recommended to be implemented every four years across India park management as well as by the tourism industry.

Conserving wildlife can have benefits far beyond the species. We have to make the environment and development co-exist and go hand in hand by planning our future developmental goals in such a manner that our environmental goals are not compromised. Those efforts not only help to protect the tigers, but also may result in reducing deforestation and carbon emissions.

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