Save Tigers-Start Acting now!!

Well this is a very serious topic for me. I always knew that the tiger population in our country is dwindling fast but i got to know about 2 days back that there are barely 1000 Tigers in the entire country. I never knew that there was such a strong animal activist in me but the thought has really, really disturbed me a lot. I mean the thought that i may
never be able to see this gorgeous animal after about 10-15 years really scares me a lot.Its one of the most beautiful and majestic animal in the world and even the thought that it may
extinct because of the stupid human beings really pisses me a lot.
I know you guys might be thinking that although you feel a lot for the cause you dont know what to do or dont know how to go about it. Well, even i used to think the same thing always but if you have the will to do something for a cause, you will find out ways and do it.
I feel in an extremely strong way for this wonderful cause and was finding ways to do
something. Well for starters you can “SPREAD THE MESSAGE”. All my friends who will read this blog can help by spreading this thought to as many people as you can. It wont take you more then 5 minutes to do it but will go a long way in helping to save the animal. Please its a sincere request from me. Also if you dont mind spending about 3 rupees, you can sms TIGER to 56388 or visit NDTV.COM and sign the online petition to save the tiger. It wont take much of your time to do this.

I dont know how many people i will be able to reach or how many will take this
seriously.Some may even laugh at me or feel that “how can my message make any difference”.But it will. Even if you feel that your message wont make any difference but the least you can do is TRY. Its our last chance or else we may lose this wonderful, exotic animal forever.

India has been home to Tigers for a very long time. If one has seen a Tiger they are just awed by the beauty, power and aura of the magnificent beast. Tigers were found all over India and still as many as 16 States of India are home to the Tigers. The latest census report released on 12th. February, 2008 by the Government of India reports that there are only 1411 tigers left. The population of the Tiger has been reduced by nearly 50% and that too in a period of 6 to 7 years.
It is time that emergency and drastic steps are taken to save the pride of jungle and pride of India from becoming extinct.
The causes of the fast decrease in the Tiger population are well known both by the
government and common people. The increasing pressure on Tiger habitats due to
agriculture,industrialization and degradation and fragmentation of natural habitats, forests and natural grasslands are one of the main reasons for the decrease of Tiger population and for that matter all wildlife in India. The immediate effect of this is lack of natural food and habitat causes the wild animals to come out of the forest area. This tends to increase the conflicts between the humans and animals. The other reason for the population decrease is Poaching, which has been on rise recently. There is a slogan I have been hearing for quit some time, " If the buying stops, the selling will stop". I think the rich people who are the only one who can afford buying the skins for their fancies are probably deaf, as they cannot seem to hear the slogan.

The poaching problem should be dealt with strictly by the Government of India and the concerned State Governments. The Forest Department of India is severely understaffed and they do not have the modern weapons and technology to protect the Forest areas. The laws for the animal protection should be revised.
The poachers should be shot dead on sight. How can a forest guard armed with a stick [danda] or an outdated rifle fight the heavily armed poachers to protect the animals. It is time the Government of India acts urgently.
The people of India should also join hands to save the Tiger. NDTV India has started a
campaign to save the Tigers,TIGERS ARE ON the threshold of extinction. According to WWF, Tigers are amongst the ten most endangered species in the world. Over the last century more than 95 per cent of the Tiger population has been wiped out & three sub-species are already extinct. Less than 3500 tigers remain in the wild today with around 50 per cent in India and their numbers are declining fast. The world is abuzz with news, views and moves in a bid to save the Tiger. With just
1411 tigers left in India as per the last count, the government is worried on how to save the national animal. And thus from cellular phone companies to potato chip manufacturers,every other big brand is being roped in to promote the cause.- a cause that is one of the prime concerns of the nation right now.But why do we save the tigers? This articles talks about the reason to behind the worldwide movement to save the big cats. In simple words this piece reasons out why you and me, the common man should be interested in saving the tigers.
Not only is the tiger a beautiful animal but it is also the indicator of the forest's
health. Saving the tiger means we save the forest since the tiger cannot live in places
where trees have vanished and in turn secure food and water for all. If we make sure tigers live, we will have to make sure that deer, antelope and all other animals that the tiger eats or its prey base live. To make sure that these herbivores live, we must make sure that all the trees, grass and other plants that these prey animals need for food are protected.In short, in this way the whole forest gets saved! Saving the tiger means indirectly saving the forests and in turn saving the environment that is reeling under global warming due to massive deforestation. Felling trees takes away the precious soil, leaving behind a wasteland. The soil jams up our lakes and dams, reducing their ability to store water. By destroying the tiger's home, we not only harm tigers, but also ourselves. The tiger thus becomes the symbol for the protection of all species on our earth since it is at the top of the food-chain. This is why we sometimes call the tiger, an apex predator and an indicator of our ecosystem's health. In short, saving the tiger means saving the earth.
Save tigers,
save our earth!
Currently the countries of the world are on the way of the development,
development like changing world into modern and more facilitate environment such as growing of construction business. Before more years the earth is bounded by greenery, but today that is one the way to lost. Number of the forests is reduced on the earth, so we are facing effect of global warming that is the change of climate
on the world.

One look to the India, same situation is here. India is also growing in the
development.There are number of the forests in the India can be reduced, that affects the live life of animals, birds. Everyone of the world come together for protect live life.
Tiger is the national animal of India. Tiger shows strength and huge power of India. Tiger is the pride of India. Tiger is the Indian pride so its time for every Indian comes together for taking steps for saving the tiger in India.
Today the world is developed with powerful technology so you can use the many techniques to save the tigers in India like sms, blogs, articles, advertisement. This process becomes one of the most effective steps to give sound to the Indians for saving tiger life.

EARLY this year, a warning was sounded that there were no tigers in the Sariska reserve in Rajasthan. Soon it became clear that many of the other tiger reserves fared no better, raising serious questions about the practice of tiger conservation and wildlife management in the country.
If the crisis had to be tackled, the real situation in the reserves had to be understood. A Tiger Task Force was set up in April by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to probe the disappearance of the tigers in Sariska. The panel submitted its report earlier in August, along with a dissent note by one of its members. The primary difference was essentially over ways to manage the reserves and conserve the tiger. The people's concern about the issue was heightened by the fundamental differences between the dissenting member and the rest of the Task Force.Public concern about the dwindling tiger population is not new in India. In the late 1960s, the situation of the big cat in India had attracted world-wide attention. Following this, India's first Task Force on tigers was constituted under the chairmanship of Dr. Karan Singh, a keen conservationist and a Rajya Sabha member at the time. Its report, submitted in 1972, formed the blueprint for India's tiger conservation programme called Project Tiger.
In the 1970s, eight tiger reserves were set up in different ecological systems. Each had human settlements in them, which brought enormous pressure on the reserves and the conservation programme. Thus the first Task Force, in an attempt to restrict human activity within the reserves, designated the core of each reserve as a national park and banned all human activity there; the rest of the reserve was termed the buffer area and could sustain human activity. The idea was to relocate people from the core areas, but they could coexist with the cats in the buffer areas.
Since then, 28 tiger reserves have been created across the country. But two Task Forces and 30 years later, the problem of coexistence still persists. In fact, it has worsened. People continue to live in both the core and the buffer areas, the resettlement processes seem to have hardly taken off, and more people have moved into the reserves for various reasons, including deforestation, land degradation and poverty.
THE reports of tigers vanishing from the Sariska reserve came in December 2004. In March 2005, in its interim report, the Wildlife Institute of India confirmed that there were indeed no tigers in Sariska. The Prime Minister then asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the matter.According to the CBI report, since 2002 poachers have been killing tigers in the reserve; the last of the six big cats were killed in 2004. The CBI pointed to the involvement of the local people. A Tiger Task Force comprising five eminent environmentalists, ecologists and conservationists was soon set up, with Sunita Narain, Director of the Centre for Environment and Science, as the chairperson. The Task Force was to look into Sariska's problem in particular and find out if the problem extended to the other reserves as well.
The Task Force was asked to suggest measures to strengthen tiger conservation; improve the methods of tiger counting and forecasting; place data on tiger conservation in the public domain; work out a new reserves management paradigm; and induce local communities, forest staff and tiger reserve managers to help in the conservation of tigers.According to the Task Force report, Sariska is a pointer to the total collapse of institutions and management systems. The main issue, it points out, is not only of saving the tiger but doing it in the Indian situation, where people have been living inside forests for generations.
While pointing out that forest-dwellers should be relocated wherever possible to ease the biotic pressure on the forests and tigers, the report recommends coexistence between man and animal in other areas owing to the scarcity of land and the paucity of funds (the relocation of all families living inside the 28 tiger reserves is estimated to cost Rs.11,508 crores).
The report states: "The protection of the tiger is inseparable from the protection of the forests it roams in. But the protection of these forests is itself inseparable from the fortunes of people who, in India, inhabit forest areas." The report therefore recommends: "The habitat must be shared between the people and the tigers, so that both can coexist, as they must. The poverty of one, otherwise, will be the destruction of the other."But conservationists who brook no human-tiger coexistence within the reserve areas, argue that the premise of continued coexistence over vast landscapes where tigers thrive ecologically, and people thrive economically, is a recipe for disaster. The Task Force recommendation to relocate people from the priority villages and to devise strategies for coexistence in the other villages, they say, is a bundle of contradictions. They point out that the inherent contradictions in the solution would only lead to further degradation of the tiger habitat.According to them, many communities have lived in equilibrium within forest habitats in the past. But those were times when fewer people lived in the forests and used the resources purely for their own consumption. But today, the numbers of forest-dwellers have gone up and with forest areas shrinking, they put tremendous pressure on the forests and the tigers.
Conservationists argue that each tiger needs to eat at least 50 cow-size animals a year to survive, and if a tiger has to share space with cows and people, the conflict between tiger and man will be eternal and perennial, detrimental to both. They argue that the areas falling within the reserves - barely 1 per cent of the country's land area - should be made inviolate and people living within these areas must be relocated. This, they say, is the only way to resolve the issue and save the tiger.
But the Task Force report argues that nearly half of the tiger population, in fact, lives outside the reserves. It also points out that several families from the 80 villages near the reserves, which were relocated in the past, have returned to the forests. This, the conservationists say, is because of the failure of the resettlement schemes and the way they were implemented. According to conservation and wildlife film-maker Shekar Dattatri (The Hindu, August 13, 2005), a decentralised process, with realistic budgets and involving good local non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and the handholding of the settlers until they find their feet outside the reserve areas can save the tigers and improve the lives of the people.
The Task Force report, while agreeing that relocation of all forest dwellers is the ideal solution, wonders where the funds would come from, particularly considering that 1,500 villages (66,516 families) still lie within the reserve areas and hardly 80 villages (2,904 families) have been relocated in the past 30 years. At the government-stipulated norm of Rs.1 lakh to relocate a family, the cost works out to Rs.665 crores plus land cost (Rs.11,508 crores at an enhanced rate of Rs.2.5 lakh for a family, including the land cost, which will be Rs.9,645 crores). Contrast this with the Rs.373 crores spent on Project Tiger by both the Central and the States governments in the past 30 years.Conservationists point to such reserves as the Bhadra in Karnataka as good relocation projects, which can be emulated. The report, however, stresses the fact that the Bhadra reserve had spent Rs.8.3 lakhs (including the land cost) to relocate each family. While even Rs.1 lakh to relocate one family is hard to put together, it is difficult to imagine how the country can set aside funds at Rs.8.3 lakh a family for the 1,500 villages located within the reserve areas. Apart from the money, the administration and logistics of relocation are crucial factors, particularly as hardly any land is available for relocation, the report says.
Conservationists argue that the welfare of the communities living inside the forests cannot be ensured by a one-size-fits-all solution. There is a need to devise pragmatic, area-specific solutions that take into account the aspirations of the local people as well as the precarious situation of the reserve areas.
Though there were once as many as 150,000 tigers in the world, there are now only about4,000-5,000. Of the original eight species of tigers, only three are still in existence.Today, there are about 2,500 of the Indian Royal Bengal tigers left. There are also 1,000 Indo-Chinese tigers, 300 Siberian tigers, 300 Sumatran tigers and 20 South China tigers.As a result, the Indian tigers seem to be the most likely to survive in the future. However,it
will even be difficult for them, and their chance of survival might be quite low.Every day,one Indian tiger dies. If this rate of death is allowed to continue, all species of tigers throughout the world will be extinct by 2010.

To prevent this scenario, the Save-the-Tiger Campaign and Project Tiger have successfully created tiger reserves and convinced the Indian government to ban tiger hunting. In the longer term, the groups hope to educate the Indian people about the threat of the extinction of the tigers so that they can help to ensure the tiger's survival.
In an effort to save the remaining tigers in India, the Indian conservation group Tiger
Trust (TT) has begun to work to help the tigers in India's Kanha and Bandhavgarh tiger reserves.Currently, India's tiger population is being seriously threatened by poaching and territory loss. Many traditional medicine markets require tigers, and the growing population of people and cattle in India are taking over land that had been formerly occupied by tigers.formerly occupied by tigers.

India, 12 others vow to double tiger numbers by 2022

A United Nations-led alliance to fight wildlife crime and eliminate threats to wild cats around the world has pledged to double tiger numbers by 2022 in India and 12 other tiger range countries. The alliance was formed this week at an international forum in St Petersburg, Russia on restoring the global tiger population from the brink of extinction, the UN news centre in UN announced. Heads of five major international agencies also discussed collective actions aimed at stopping the poaching, smuggling and illegal trade of tigers.
"Ending wildlife crime against tigers and other endangered species, particularly transnational trafficking, requires a coordinated global response," said the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, who underlined Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's "strong support" for the Tiger Forum.
"Thanks to our expertise based on UN standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice, combined with many years of experience helping States to fight crime, UNODC is well positioned to support the Tiger Range Countries," he added.
In 2009, tiger skins sold for up to $20,000 and bones retailed for up to $1,200 per kilogramme with UNODC estimating the total market value at about $5 million.
Over the last century, tiger numbers have plummeted from about 100,000 to less than 3,500 in the wild today, with three sub-species disappearing altogether and the remaining six at risk.
In order to boost tiger conservation efforts, UNODC teamed up with the World Customs Organization (WCO), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), INTERPOL, and the World Bank to establish the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC).
Aided by the ICCWC, the 13 Tiger Range Countries will implement the Global Tiger Recovery Programme which will target poaching, the illegal trade of tigers and habitat conservation, as well as create incentives for local people to protect the big cats.
"ICCWC sends a very clear message that a new era of wildlife law enforcement is upon us," said CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon. "Poaching and illegal trade have brought tigers close to the point of no return. Only if we work together, can we ensure that tigers will survive."
Besides India, other countries that have committed towards implementing the Global Tiger Recovery Programme are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Leonardo DiCaprio Donates $1 Million To Tiger Conservation

As world leaders gather for a historic summit to save tigers from extinction, Leonardo DiCaprio today committed $1 million to the World Wildlife Fund for urgent tiger conservation efforts through his Fund at the California Community Foundation. DiCaprio will also attend this week’s summit.
Across Asia, tiger numbers have dropped from 100,000 at the beginning of the last century to as few as 3,200 today. Heads of government from the 13 tiger range countries are gathered in St. Petersburg, Russia, for a first-ever summit to save tigers hosted by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. They are expected to announce a Global Tiger Recovery Program with a goal of doubling the number of wild tigers by 2022.
DiCaprio, a WWF board member, recently visited Nepal and Bhutan with WWF experts, touring tiger habitat on elephant back alongside antipoaching staff, meeting with community members, and learning how WWF scientists monitor the park’s tigers. The donation will add to DiCaprio’s existing commitment to tiger conservation during this Year of the Tiger. Earlier this year, he joined forces with WWF in an effort to raise $20 million for tiger conservation through the Save Tigers Now campaign.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with Leo. He cares deeply about the fate of tigers and the human communities with whom they share their habitat. He is committing his time, his wealth, and most importantly, his talent to this cause,” said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund. “His financial commitment will spark urgent on-the-ground conservation for tigers. His storytelling will inspire people around the world to help.”
DiCaprio’s donation will help support anti-poaching efforts and protect critical tiger forests where the needs are most urgent.
“Illegal poaching of tigers for their parts and massive habitat loss due to palm oil, timber and paper production are driving this species to extinction,” said DiCaprio. “If we don’t take action now, one of the most iconic animals on our planet could be gone in just a few decades. By saving tigers, we can also protect some of our last remaining ancient forests and improve the lives of indigenous communities.”
The 13 countries where tigers still exist are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Money raised by DiCaprio and WWF through Save Tigers Now will go to fund antipoaching efforts and habitat protection in the 12 priority landscapes across Asia that WWF believes represent the best locations to maintain viable, thriving populations of tigers. The money will also fund advocacy and outreach activities to build support for tiger conservation.

India: battleground to save the tiger

Efforts to save the tiger, set to be addressed at a conference in Russia next week, will depend for a large part on the effectiveness of the shield India has tried to throw over the animal.
The country is home to more than half of the world's rapidly dwindling wild tigers, but even its conservation program, said by the government to be the world's most comprehensive, has failed to halt the creature's decline.
In the land that inspired Rudyard Kipling's legendary Jungle Book stories - featuring the cunning tiger protagonist Shere Khan - authorities are in danger of losing their battle against poachers and other man-made problems.
The picture is similar across the Asian region where one of nature's most revered hunters teeters on the brink of extinction.
"Despite all the efforts, we are still facing challenges at various levels to end the poaching problem," Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said in New Delhi last week.
The tiger population in India has fallen to 1411, from about 3700 estimated to be alive in 2002 and the 40,000 estimated to be roaming across India at the time of independence from Britain in 1947.
"Besides poaching, the tiger in India faces new threats - the destruction of its habitat due to industrial expansion, mining projects and construction of dams near protected reserves," Ramesh said.
The Indian government in 2007 swung into action by setting up a new tiger protection force, chalked out some bold and urgent steps to end the poaching menace and pledged to pump the equivalent of millions of dollars into the program.
Authorities are also moving villagers out of reserve areas to secure natural habitat for the tigers and are transferring animals from one reserve to another in a bid to boost populations.
A report by wildlife trade monitoring group TRAFFIC said parts from 1000 tigers slain by poachers across Asia have been seized over the past decade.
"Tiger skins fetch anywhere around $US11,000 ($A11,264) to $US21,000 ($A21,505) and bones are sold for about $US1000 ($A1024) in China," said Rajesh Gopal, the chairman of the National Tiger Conservation Authority in New Delhi.
"There is a huge demand for these items in China and poachers take all the risk to make high profits."
Across Asia, the tiger figures are alarming.
According to 2009 International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List, there are 70 tigers in Bhutan, between 10 and 50 in Cambodia, about 40 in China, 300 in Malaysia, 100 in Burma, 350 in Russia, more than 250 in Thailand and fewer than 100 in Vietnam.
"There are just 3200 tigers left across the world - this is a scary figure," Ramesh said last week ahead of the Global Tiger Summit in St Petersburg which starts on Sunday.
The director of the Wildlife Protection of India, Belinda Wright, is sceptical about the agenda of the summit, which will seek to double the number of tigers by 2020.
"It sounds very ambitious and positive that we will have 6000 tigers in two decades, but tell me how will they do it without being able to save the existing ones?" Wright told AFP.
"Patchy intelligence-gathering techniques across Asia and lack of cross-border commitment to end the sale of tiger parts has led to a collective failure."
A major trafficking route begins in India and ends in China, where tiger parts are highly prized as purported cures for a range of ailments and as aphrodisiacs.
India's porous border with neighbouring Nepal, home to 121 Royal Bengal tigers, acts as a smuggling corridor for poachers, who bribe poor forest dwellers to guide them through the dense jungles.
This year the Nepalese government pledged to double the number of tigers, but campaigners say the deeply impoverished country lacks the funding to carry through on the promise.
In Bangladesh, another of India's neighbours, chief wildlife conservator Tapan Kumar Dey says tiger numbers have risen since 2004, when a United Nations-funded census found 440, but this is disputed by some observers.
Dey said doubling the tiger population was impossible for Bangladesh.
"The unique mangrove ecosystem, a tiger habitat, cannot be expanded to encourage more tigers, plus there is not enough food - largely spotted deer - to sustain an increased tiger population," he said.

Tiger death: Govt wakes up finally; allots Rs 30cr

TigerSariska, Nov 18: The death of the tiger in Sariska reserve finally made the government to wake up as beside increasing the security power at the region, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh announced Rs 30 crore to the reserve.

The huge amount of money has been allotted to the reserve to utilise it by 2011 to speed up the relocation of villagers from the forest area.

Granting the money, Jairam stated, "It is a wake up call for us," however, he also informed that the first installment of Rs 10 crore will be given in Dec 2010.

"The next six to eight months are crucial and we have to act fast so that the relocation programme for re-establishing a tiger population in Sariska becomes a success," asserted Jairam on Nov 18.

In Sariska, a big cat, relocated from Ranthambore in 2008, was found dead and another tiger was missing from last week, reported the reserve official on Nov 16.

Honeymooning couple leaves behind a trail of woes for forest officials

RANTHAMBHORE: The celeb couple Russell Brand and Katy Perry on Monday flew to Maldives for their honeymoon, but left behind a trail of tough questions for the state officials to answer over alleged disregard for wildlife, environment and civic laws during their wedding near the tiger reserve.

An activist and a lawyer of Ranthamhore has lodged a criminal complaint against the couple and friends and a forest official of the tiger reserve for violating the Wildlife Protection Act.

The petition was filed in the court of chief judicial magistrate of Sawaimadhopur on Monday. The hearing will take place on October 30.

While Brand and Perry left the country in a chartered flight, their friends named in the complaint too have returned.

The petition filed by advocate Akshay Sharma, who runs an organisation Ranthambhore Park Bachao Samiti, in his petition alleged that the Hollywood couple committed gross violation of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act by playing loud music and keeping the decorative lights on beyond the the stipulated limit of 10pm last Saturday.

The petitioner said it was gross violation of the Section 29, 30, 31 and 32 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act and therefore punishable under law.

Apart from the couple, Brand's friend Daniel Javed and his security guard John Conson are also named in the petition along with the manager of the luxury resort Aman-e- Khas at Ranthambhore. The petitioner charged the forest officer of Ranthambhore RS Shekhawat of negligence of duty under Section 166 of the IPC.

Sharma said on October 22, when Brand along with his friends went on a safari inside the tiger reserve, some photographers tried clicking their pictures. On seeing this, Brand's security person John Conson attacked a photographer.

The complaint states that the security person took away the keys of the jeep, in which the photogrphers were tavelling, leaving the latter stranded in the jungle.

The petitioner blamed the forest officer for allowing the security person and Brand to go scot-free.

A few days ago, chief minister Ashok Gehlot, on a visit to the Ranthambore national park received complaints against the inconvenience caused by the wedding to the locals and the wildlife. Following which, the CM had ordered an inquiry into the matter. The reports have been submitted to the district magistrate of Sawaimadhopur.

Russell Gifts A Tigress To Katy As A Wedding Gift

Russell Brand and Katy Perry
Russell Brand and Katy Perry, got married on Saturday in India at the luxury resort, Aman-i-Khas, in Jaipur. After the wedding, Russell Brand gifted Katy the most extraordinary wedding gift, a Tigress.

The tigress, named Machli, lives in the Ranthambore National Park. Russell Brand bought the tigress with thousands of pounds. The Tigress is known to the epitome of beauty and according to Russell reminds him of Katy Perry. The tigress will be left back in India but Russell will look after the welfare of the tigress on Katy's behalf.

Russell Brand and
Katy Perry's wedding was according to Christian ways but they have also followed some Indian tradition. Katy looked beautiful in a sari and henna in her hands. The venue was also decorated with designer lamps and flowers. Among other guests, two elephants were also part of the ceremony.

Rihanna, who was rumoured to be the bridesmaid, did not attend the wedding in India but Katy takes no offense in that. Rihanna is busy in Las Vegas and Katy completely understands that.

Belinda Wright: An inspiration for all

Belinda Wright is a well known Indian conservationist. She is also a prominent wild life photographer of India. Belinda Wright has founded and is the Executive Director of Wildlife Protection Society of India. Belinda Wright was born in the year 1953. Her mother Anne Wright is Founder Trustee of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-India), which was established in late 1960s. Further, she was also a member of the Tiger Task Force commissioned by Indira Gandhi, for selecting nine tiger reserves in order to launch Project Tiger in the year 1973. Belinda Wright`s father Robert Hamilton Wright spent a lot of time working with East India Charitable Trust that runs several charity schools and old people`s homes.

Belinda Wright has spent her life working on wildlife issues in India. Belinda Wright spent her early days in the forests of Bihar, especially around the area which is now under Palamau Tiger Reserve. Belinda Wright has worked for several years with National Geographic Channel and also made films for BBC channel. She won two Emmy Awards in the year 1985 and 14 other big international awards for her film `Land of the Tiger`, which she made for the channel National Geographic. She spent around two years following the lives of the wild tigers in Ranthambore Tiger Reserve and Kanha Tiger Reserve In the year 1994, Belinda Wright founded the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI). It was founded with the objective of helping to ward off the wildlife crises of the country by giving support and information to fight against poaching and the increasing illegal wildlife trade.

Belinda Wright achieved recognition for her services to the conservation of wildlife and endangoured species in India.
Belinda Wright spotted her first tiger- when other
kids may not even differentiate mother from father-at the age of three
months. With both parents lover of wild life, passion for tigers is in her
DNA as she terms tiger the most charismatic mammal on planet. Her mother
Anne Wright was a member of the Tiger Task Force that was commissioned by
the late Indian Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, to select nine tiger
reserves for the launch of Project Tiger. Following in the foot steps, the
daughter went to become wild life photographer & movie maker before founding
Wild Life Protection Society of India in 1994, an NGO working for wild life
conservation. It provides information, training & legal support to
enforcement authorities to combat poaching. WPSI has established a network
of informers throughout the India & prepared a comprehensive database on
wild life crime. Belinda traveled extensively in Tibet to unearth links of
Shahtoosh-Tiger trade.

Her father Robert Hamilton Wright received the "Officer of the Order of the
British Empire" or OBE, while Anne was awarded "Member of the Most Excellent
Order of the British Empire". In 2003 Belinda, following her parents was
awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire services to the
protection of wildlife and endangered species in India".

Over the past 100 years wild tiger numbers have declined 97% worldwide. In India, where there are 39 tiger reserves and 663 protected areas, there may be only 1,400 wild tigers left, according to a 2008 census, and possibly as few as 800, according to estimates by some experts. Illegal poaching remains the primary cause of the tiger's decline, driven by black market demand for tiger skins, bones and organs. One of India's leading conservationists, Belinda Wright has been on the forefront of the country's wildlife issues for over three decades. While her organization, the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), does not carry the global recognition of large international NGOs, her group’s commitment to the preservation of tigers, their habitat, and the Indian people who live with these apex predators, is one reason tigers still exist!

Help the Indian Tigers survive! It's never too late!

These days, everywhere I go, I am seeing hoardings saying 'Just 1411 Left'. Normally, I would groan and grumble on seeing the figure of 1411 on my shopping bills; sounds too much, but when it comes to the no. of tigers, don't you think it's too small a number representing a species. Statistics suggest that with the end of the last century we had lost 3 out of 8 tiger species. The three being, the Caspian, Balinese and Javan.

And by extinction, you know what I mean, I am sure I haven't seen them and my kids and grandkids won't even know they existed. They are just names. Sitting in my air conditioned room, I can't even imagine what these magnificent animals are facing. I mean it is tough to imagine that today these charismatic animals are poisoned, trapped, shot and killed for monetary gains. Such a miserable death to such a royal animal. Miserable or not, why should they have to die. Sometimes, I like to substitute human beings in the statistics and imagine how it would feel if there were just 1411 of them left. Sounds like some sci fi movie, but is definitely scary and obviously I wouldn't be alive myself. Somebody else will be counting.

The Sub Species of Tigers
As mentioned already, there are 8 sub species of tigers, of which, 3 are extinct. The names of the 8 species of tigers are:
  1. Bengal Tiger
  2. Indochinese Tiger
  3. Sumatran Tiger
  4. Amur/Siberian Tiger
  5. South Chinese Tiger
  6. Javan Tiger (extinct)
  7. Caspian Tiger (extinct)
  8. Bali Tiger (extinct)
In the list, the ones that don't have extinct attached to their name, are endangered and may be, will soon have the extinct surname (thanks to human beings) and interestingly, scientists have suggested that South Chinese Tiger is already 'functionally extinct'.

Endangered Tiger Facts

Tiger: Physical Characteristics
Coming to the tigers' bio-data, it is the largest member of the cat family. Their size varies according to the species and the gender. Though the average height is 3 feet, standing and 5-7 feet from head to the back. Additionally, their tail averages to about 3 feet. The weight of these animals ranges between 175-650 pounds.

Tiger in the Food Chain
Socially or say 'jungally', tigers stand on the top of the food pyramid. They are the unofficial kings of the jungle and their only enemies are human beings. So, they are the hunters of the jungle, eating anything from a deer to a seal. Their hunting skills are one of the best and nobody defeats them on that, except our very own villains the Poachers. Poachers hunt and kill them for their fur, teeth and many other such absurd reasons. Just one kill makes a poacher richer by many folds, so it's difficult to convince people not to kill them. What we need are stricter rules and dedicated activists and forest rangers, who make sure that these precious creatures aren't harmed in anyway.

World Population of Tigers
According to statistics, the world population of tiger in early 1900s was around 100,000 and it depleted to 40,000 by 1950s. A major fall in their population came in the 1970s, when their numbers drastically depleted to 4000, owing to wide scale poaching for their fur and Chinese medications and some rare delicacies (human being=shameless). Even today, people in countries like Korea, Taiwan, China and India earn their living by killing these magnificent animals. The first thing we have to do is stop the trade of animal fur and body parts. When there will be no demand, there won't be any killing (hoping). Current day statistics suggest that there are around 5000-7000 tigers left in the world, of which 1411 are in the Indian subcontinent.

Enemies of the Endangered Tigers
  1. Poaching: Killing of tigers for their parts is being done since ages. Some communities use up each and every part of a tiger once it is murdered. And not to mention, they earn a lot.
  2. Hunting: Hunting tigers used to be a favorite pastime for royal people. Killing a tiger and keeping the head as a trophy is an age-old tradition. And it is still done at some places.
  3. Depleting Habitat: Tigers are said to be an umbrella species, so in order to protect them, we have to not only work on their numbers, we also need to protect their habitat and other animals related to them, like the animals that form their food.
  4. Chinese Medicines: These medicines have been around since thousands of years and they use up each and every part of this beautiful animal and ironically, they have no scientific proof that they work.
Save Tigers from Extinction - How
Organizations across the globe are working hard to protect this feline animal. But their efforts are lacking somewhere. Given the size of the habitat, it is practically impossible to protect each and every animal. Though people are trying, it is still not enough. There are organizations which are working tirelessly, so that each animal is safe and lives its complete natural life. Governments have banned poaching and have made wildlife sanctuaries where these animals are allowed to live freely and protected thoroughly from human beings, but somewhere the efforts are failing, because of human negligence and at some places because of human greed. Corruption has lead to cases where the protectors themselves allowed these animals to be killed for a handsome amount of money. So, this proves that nothing can win the human mind. A tiger will be safe only when human beings will understand why it is important and necessary to save them. Making sanctuaries and encircling them with barbs is not enough when one human mind can fail all this in a single night.

In my opinion, it is high time that all these animals are collected and clubbed together in a high security facility, away from human beings. There is no need to keep them in zoos and sanctuaries. They will be better off away from human sight. It's high time that some extreme steps are taken and these animals are protected and bred to increase their numbers.

It is very heart wrenching to note that the majestic animal which commands such power,has been left in a state so low where it is at the mercy of the heartless poachers and animal traffickers. Out of the wonderful number just a few years back,the number of tigers in my country has declined to a shocking 1411 or maybe less than that!
We talk about development. Recently our country hosted the Commonwealth Games 2010! It was a success for sure! Sources tell that almost 70 crores were spent on the games. What if we could spent only 0.1% of that amount to renew the reserves for our tigers and provide them a better place to live?
The realization has dawned late but better than never. Steps have been taken to create awareness and stop the encroachment and harm caused by our carelessness, but a lot has to be put into action yet. Everyone feels so happy when they wear a slogan T-shirt. But unless those proceeds are going to an organization that practically DOES something, they are just empty words on fabric or a computer screen.
The problem with ‘Save our Tigers’ campaign is it lacks relevance. The urban people aren’t the ones who directly affect the dwindling population of the big cat. This campaign should have rightly been targeted at the poachers and other villagers who encroach into the tiger’s habitat. By becoming a fan in a Facebook or following in Twitter isn’t going to help the animal. The poachers aren’t going to read what I blog. Let’s get practical.
All of us are aware of the many benefits the tigers provide and the fact tat its hunted and killed for every part of its body from head to toe is just saddening.
Everyone has the right to live,humans or animals. Humans have no right to disturb the balance of nature by their selfish acts. If the poachers are to be blamed,den so are our wildlife protection authorities and the people who encourage such acts by purchasing what is sold!
SAY NO! As every voice counts, every thought matters!
So here i am sharing my concern!
Save our tigers!
Save our nationality!

News Update
  1. 3 Royal Bengal tiger cubs born in Guwahati zoo
  2. Bengal tiger which killed three goats trapped

Sunderbans big cats get smaller

The scientists at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) have found significant differences between the tigers found in the Sunderbans delta and those found in the rest of the country. They feel that the “smaller and lighter” tigers of the deltaic region could have evolved into a sub-species of Royal Bengal Tiger, as the big cats have adapted to the ecological conditions of their habitat, which remains inundated by the tidal waves.

“The tigers found in the Sunderbans could be a different sub-species of Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), which is found all across the India,” said Dr Yadvendradev Jhala, a scientist at the WII who is examining the reasons that could have led to the tigers developing deviant features.
“There could be genetic or adaptive reason behind this. For a different species, it takes about one million years to evolve but for a different sub-species can evolve in 20,000 to 50,000 years,” said Jhala.

WWF: Saving tigers should be the concern of all

PETALING JAYA: Animal trafficking is not an area best left to the experts but should be the concern of every member of the public, said Traffic Southeast Asia and Worldwide Fund (WWF) Malaysia in a joint statement.

Commending a public tip-off that resulted in the rescue of a tiger cub in Pahang recently, Traffic Southeast Asia and WWF encouraged the public to report any suspicious incidents involving the country's wildlife.

“All too often, trafficked tigers are seized only after they have been killed and butchered,” they said in their statement.

“Timely information from the public makes a world of difference and help enforcement agencies ensure these endangered animals stay alive.

"Without public information, who knows what might have become of this cub that was rescued two weeks ago.”

According to a Bernama report, officers from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) Pahang, acting on a tip, raided a shop in Pekan on Oct 15 and rescued the cub.

The cub has since been sent to the Melaka Zoo.

Two people who stood to make RM30,000 from the sale of the cub were arrested. They face a maximum fine of RM6,000 or jailed for not more than six years under Section 65 of the Protection of Wild Life Act 1972.

Just 500 tigers left in Malaysia

Traffic Southeast Asia and WWF urged the authorities to find out about the cub's origins, and also determine if the two arrested were illegal poachers.

They also said that enforcement of the new Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716) which comes into effect soon would deter hunters from using Malaysia as a poaching destination.

“Without deterrent sentences, poaching will continue and Malaysia will lose its remaining tigers to brazen thievery,” the statement read.

Once home to hundreds of thousands of tigers, Malaysia only has about 500 left.

WWF-Malaysia started a tiger-related project earlier this year. Known simply as TX2 (tiger times two), the project intends to double Malaysia's tiger population by 2022.

Members of the public who wish to report suspicious situations involving wildlife can call the Wildlife Crime Hotline managed by the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MYCAT) at 019 3564194.

The Department of Wildlife and National Parks can also be contacted at 03 88861585 or 03 90866800.

Poacher shot dead in Rajaji Park

Rajaji National Park director SS Rasaily said on Thursday that a forest department employee who was patrolling the area encountered a group of about a dozen persons armed with spears and firearms atop a ridge in the Dhaulkhand area which is part of the core zone of the national park. When challenged, one of them opened fire at the forest guard. The guard fired a round in the air to scare the intruders away. But the bullet hit a resident of Bullawala village, Babu Lal, who died, while others in the group escaped.

The director claimed that the group had entered the core zone with the intention of poaching and had taken Babu Lal along as a guide and for the task of skinning and cutting the animal that they poached.

The forest guard had fired in self-defence on Wednesday, it was stated. The RNP director said the man was part of a group of persons who had entered the core zone of RNP with the intention of poaching, especially tigers which are known to inhabit the Dhaulkhand area.

The police has, however, registered a case of murder against the Rajaji National Park director for the death of Babu Lal, because a large number of villagers had reached the site of the incident when the RNP director and Doiwala SHO were on the spot. Some of the villagers alleged that Babu Lal had gone to the forest to collect grass used for making brooms.

However, the RNP director denied these claims while countering the villagers’ claim that the men had entered the forest area to collect grass. According to Rasaily, it is strange that the group of persons carrying spears and a firearm travelled a distance of about 15 km from the village through rough jungle terrain and crossed a ridge purportedly to cut and collect a type of grass which is found commonly in various areas, including on the outskirts of the village. The Dhaulkhand area, which is part of the core zone of the RNP, is known for tigers.

The RNP administration also plans to file an FIR against the persons who were part of the group of poachers involved in the altercation which resulted in the death of Babu Lal.

U.S. urged to regulate 'backyard tigers'

The WWF and TRAFFIC say that there are yawning gaps in U.S. regulation of tiger ownership which could fuel illegal trade.While some tigers are housed in zoos, many more are privately owned, often free to roam backyards, urban apartments and are generally kept in "deplorable conditions," the report says.

(CNN) -- Rising numbers of captive tigers in the United States are putting citizens at risk and could be fueling illegal trade in animal parts, which threatens their survival in the wild, conservationists have warned.
"Tigers Among US," published by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network estimates that there are more than 5,000 tigers in captivity in the U.S. compared with around 3,200 that remain wild across Asia.
Leigh Henry, WWF senior policy officer for Species Conservation told CNN: "We've seen photos and there's a video on our website showing tigers walking around muddy wet cages."
But its the size of the enclosures that is most distressing, Henry says, "when you know tigers are supposed to be ranging over hundreds and hundreds of acres."
Current U.S. regulation on tiger ownership is "a patchwork of federal laws" full of "exceptions, exemptions and loopholes," the report says.
A majority of U.S. states (28) don't allow citizens to keep tigers as pets, while 17 have laws which regulate their ownership.
"We want to know where all these animals are, who owns them, when they're sold and transferred, when they are born, when they die...
--Leigh Henry, WWF

But in some states there are no regulations at all, making it easier to own a tiger than to adopt a dog, with sometimes tragic consequences.
In 2003, a 10-year-old boy was killed by his aunt's pet tiger in Wilkes County, North Carolina.
In the same year, celebrity tiger handler Roy Horn (of Siegfried and Roy fame) was mauled during a performance at Las Vegas's Mirage Hotel.
Nevada and North Carolina are two of eight U.S. states (Alabama, Idaho, Ohio, South Carolina West Virginia and Wisconsin are the others) which currently have no laws regulating private ownership of tigers.
These yawning gaps in regulation could be resolved by implementing "a central reporting system and database run by the federal government and that would be required for all tigers in the U.S. without exception," Henry says.
"We want to know where all these animals are, who owns them, when they're sold and transferred, when they are born, when they die, so we have a better grasp on what going on with this immense population of tigers to ensure they are not filtering into illegal trade," Henry said.
It is hard to put an exact figure on just how lucrative the black market is, Henry says, but she estimates that a tiger broken up and sold in parts could fetch anywhere between $30,000 to $100,000.
Find out more about captive tigers in the U.S.
Some states, like Iowa, are leading the way. They recently implemented a ban on private ownership, Henry says.
"They put in this great regulatory system which requires DNA identification, photo identification and very strict deporting and registration systems for the tigers already in the state," Henry told CNN.
The U.S. is one of the world leaders in the promotion of tiger conservation but the U.S. also has a responsibility to manage tigers in its own backyard, Henry says.
"By clamping down on this issue, we can better cooperate with other nations holding large numbers of captive tigers to prevent trade in these animals from threatening their wild counterparts," Henry said.
This latest assessment updates a 2008 TRAFFIC report "Paper Tigers? The Role of the U.S. Captive Tiger Population in the Trade in Tiger Parts."
World leaders will gather in St Petersburg, Russia at the end of November for a Global Tiger Summit to discuss proposals which will further protect breeding populations, habitats and inhibit poaching and international trade.
Their long term goal is to double the worldwide tiger population in the wild by the time the Chinese celebrate the Year of the Tiger again in 2022.

Russian tiger summit offers 'last chance' to save species in the wild

The Global Tiger Summit in St Petersburg next month will bring together the 13 countries that still have wild tigers, along with conservation organisations, in an attempt to thrash out a global recovery plan. Britain and the US are also being urged to attend.

Leaders of the few remaining countries where tigers are still found in the wild are preparing for a make-or-break summit in Russia, which they believe offers the last chance to save the critically endangered animal.
The WWF (formerly the World Wide Fund for Nature) says it is optimistic about the summit's chances of success, but warns that failure will lead to the extinction of the tiger across much of Asia. The draft communique for the summit, seen by the Observer, notes that in the past decade tiger numbers worldwide have fallen by 40% and warns that "Asia's most iconic animal faces imminent extinction in the wild".
The rare Sumatran tigerIt concludes: "By the adoption of this, the St Petersburg Declaration, the tiger range countries of the world call upon the international community to join us in turning the tide and setting the tiger on the road to recovery."
The challenge was illustrated clearly last week when hidden camera footage showed the destruction of part of the Sumatran tigers' Indonesian forest home to make way for illegal palm oil plantations. Meanwhile, in Singapore undercover officers seized several tiger skins that had been advertised for sale online.
Organisers of the summit, which is backed by the World Bank, hope agreements can be reached that will lead to a doubling of tiger numbers by 2022. But some conservationists fear it is already too late and the summit will be another talking shop that fails to deliver results.
Tiger numbers worldwide have collapsed from an estimated 100,000 over the past century, due to poaching and human encroachment. It is now thought there are no more than 3,200 tigers in the wild, of which only about 1,000 are breeding females. The situation is so critical that four of the 13 countries attending the summit – China, Vietnam, Cambodia and North Korea – no longer have viable breeding populations, according to a study released last month.
The study – produced by researchers from Cambridge University, the World Bank and the US-based Wildlife Conservation Society – concluded that "current approaches to tiger conservation are not slowing the decline in tiger numbers, which has continued unabated over the last two decades".
It recommended that, rather than trying to save all the remaining tigers, governments should concentrate on sites that provided the most realistic chance of supporting a breeding population. "Conflict with local people needs to be mitigated. We argue that such a shift in emphasis would reverse the decline of wild tigers and do so in a rapid and cost-efficient manner."
The study will have made uncomfortable reading for the host nation. It found there had been a "dramatic decline" in tiger numbers in the Russian far east over the past five years – understood to be about a 15% drop – which it associated with a decline in anti-poaching enforcement.
The Siberian tiger – also known as the Amur tiger – nearly went extinct in the middle of the last century, when numbers fell below 50, but there are now thought to be more than 400 left in the wild. Suggestions that numbers have dipped again will not have pleased Russia's prime minister, Vladimir Putin, who will be hosting the summit and who has been keen to portray himself as a rugged protector of the animals.
In 2008 he accepted a tiger cub as a birthday present (the donor was never disclosed) and in the same year was at the centre of an extraordinary drama when it was claimed that he shot an Amur tiger with a tranquilliser dart to save the lives of a television crew. The team had been filming him taking part in a conservation exercise when the animal apparently broke free and charged.
But not only Russia is struggling to save the tiger. Earlier this year the Observer revealed how India's tiger population remained in decline, with some conservationists estimating that only 800 remained in the wild, significantly fewer than the official claim of 1,411.
Events in India in recent weeks have demonstrated just how great the challenge is. In the Panna reserve, which had to be restocked from other national parks last year, two young tigers have gone missing and are presumed dead. The human-tiger conflict for land was illustrated when three people in Uttar Pradesh, just 150km from the national capital Delhi, were attacked in an area not previously associated with tigers.
In Indonesia, a hidden WWF camera shot footage of a rare Sumatran tiger in the forests of Bukit Betabuh. Later, the same camera filmed a bulldozer clearing the area – apparently for a palm oil plantation – and then recorded the tiger returning to the scene of devastation.
But despite the gloomy picture the summit's backers remain optimistic. Diane Walkington, the WWF's head of species programme in the UK, said that considerable progress had already been made to sketch out a global recovery plan and to concentrate the minds of politicians on the problem.
"Tiger numbers can recover, but you can never take your eye off the ball," she said. "We are down to 3,200 and that is a really low number." The solution, she said, was international co-operation to tackle issues such as smuggling. She cited deals between China and Nepal as an example of how that can bear dividends. But she warned that, with numbers so low, the tiger would not get another chance. "I think that if this is not a success we will see tigers going extinct in much of Asia," she said.
Some conservationists worry that the summit is more about politicians wanting to be seen to be doing something, rather than tackling the issues on the ground, such as the encroachment into tigers' traditional territory by poor farmers in search of land.
Aditya Singh, a conservationist and wildlife photographer who spends much of his time among the tigers of India's Ranthambore national park, said previous summits had involved a group of leaders seeking answers to a problem they did not understand.
"There is little or no ground-level representation. As a result, the real practical problems never get highlighted," he said. "There is no link between field workers and conservation leaders. They do not even know each other's problems and the conservation efforts are not co-ordinated. Kind of like the climate summit."
The "tiger range" countries attending the conference are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Adopt a tiger @ 15,000

Want to adopt a tiger for a month? It will cost you only Rs 15,000. No, this is no joke. According to the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) latest scheme launched on October 1, 2010, to commemorate the Wildlife Week, animal lovers can adopt their favourite animals in the Late Rajiv Gandhi Zoo and Wildlife Research Centre, Katraj, for a limited period of time.

In return, during that period, they will get unlimited free access to the zoo. Their names and photos will be displayed near the beneficiary’s enclosure. That’s not all. The sponsors will also get a tax rebate on their payment.

This scheme has been implemented at the Mysore, Hyderabad, Lucknow and Delhi zoos. The range of sponsorship starts from Rs 4,000 and goes up to Rs 45,000.

Till date, over 20 different organisations and people have sought information about this project. But nobody has come ahead with sponsorships as yet.

Zoo statsThe 164-acre zoo is run by the PMC and gets financial aid from the Central Zoo Authority. The planning mainly aims at giving the 16 types of animals a natural habitat in an enclosed area.

Indigenous natural enclosures have been created for tigers, monkeys, sambar, bears and other animals. At least 2,500 to 3,000 people visit the zoo daily. This number goes up to 10,000-15,000 on weekends and holidays.

The sponsorship dealThe sponsorship charges cover the food and maintenance of the animal. PMC will display the sponsor’s name and photo near the adopted animal’s enclosure.

Sponsors will get unlimited free access to the zoo during that period. They will also get to travel in a battery-operated car, which will also be free.

Funds will be used for zoo devpt tooRajkumar Jadhav, deputy superintendent of the zoo, said, “We  have started this project from October 1. Over 15-20 organisations including individuals enquired about it.

People can also sponsor the entire zoo for a day by paying Rs 50,000. And all sponsors will be eligible for tax rebate. This project is running successfully in Delhi, Mysore and Hyderabad.

We will use the funds generated from this project for the development of the infrastructure in the zoo. Our revenue on weekends is Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 15, 000-20,000 on weekdays. The tally for 2009-10 is Rs 1.39 crore.”

R’than govt nod for mining near Sariska tiger reserve

Jaipur: The beauty of the Aravalliflanked Sariska Reserve may soon be a thing of past with Rajasthan government granting 40 new mining leases in the eco-sensitive zone, something that’ll leave the area pock-marked with quarries and pose a threat to an ambitious tiger rehabilitation project.

    The government sanctioned the leases on Tuesday on a plea that Aravalli range, where stone mining had been sanctioned, had contours less than 100 feet, which is not considered as a hill as per state government norms.

    Earlier this year, Supreme Court banned quarrying for stone in the Aravallis of neighbouring Haryana state, holding the mining companies guilty of violating zoning laws and not filling up excavated craters. Later it said some mining may be allowed but only when Haryana government adopts a mining policy based on an SC-appointed committee’s guidelines.

    While Rajasthan authorities have interpreted norms to their convenience to sanction fresh leases, their decision is seen as a setback to efforts to rehabilitate tigers in the Sariska as mining could damage the ecology of the region and jeopardise the survival of big cats. Five tigers have already been relocated to Sariska from Ranthambore and forest officials plan to shift more in the coming months.

    Reports suggest the new leases have gone to a few Haryana-based companies at villages such as Jaisinghpura, Malana, Goverdhanpura, Palpura and Jamwa Ramgarh, in the vicinity of Sariska sanctuary.

    “This shows how powerful and manipulative the mining lobby is. While the department of mines and geology and forests are justifying their decision on the grounds that the hills are less than 100m in height, they should know that there is no such classification by the Supreme Court. This is the department’s own creation and a gross violation of Forest (Conservation) Act 1980,’’ said Y K Singh Chauhan, conservator of forests, ministry of environment and forests.

    However, V S Singh, principal secretary, forests and environment, who heads the special committee on Aravalli Notification in Alwar, claimed new leases will not disturb forest areas and are not near any water body.

    The Supreme Court had on April 8, 2002, restrained mining in Aravallis and forest areas in Rajasthan where permission had been accorded after Dec. 16, 2002, pending further decision.

    While the SC specified that all lease renewals would be considered as fresh applications, the Rajasthan government chose to interpret it to their convenience and went ahead renewing leases without requisite permission from the ministry of environment and forests.

Mining threat looms over Sariska tigers

Jaipur: Putting a question mark on the ambitious Tiger conservation project in the Sariska Tiger reserve, the Rajasthan government has approved 40 new mining leases in the Aravallis.

The fate of big cats, about which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had expressed concern, hangs in balance following the controversial move by the Congress government in the state. Sariska has a total of five tigers – relocated from the Ranthambore national park.

As per a report published in a newspaper Thursday, the government has given its green signal to mining in the sensitive zone on the premise that the Aravalli range is less than 100m in height, which is not considered a hill as per state government norms.

Importantly, the Supreme Court had banned all sorts of mining/quarrying activities in the Arvallis in neighboring Haryana.

The news report, quoting Y K Singh Chauhan, conservator of forests, ministry of environment and forests, further says that approval of the licenses is indicative of the extent of the reach of the mining lobby and is a gross violation of the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980.
If corrective actions are not taken soon, the national animal roaming freely in the beautiful Sariska Reserve may soon become a rare site.




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