Monday, September 18, 2006

Private sector aids Indian tiger conservation

Nupur Basu

Monday, September 18, 2006 (Bangalore):

With the government's poor track record in saving the tiger, the onus, at least partially, seems to be on the private sector.

A multi-million dollar international project called "Tigers Forever" by the wildlife conservation society will now help with tiger conservation in the Western Ghats region.

Training programmes will be held for forest department officials and local communities on how to protect tigers.

"There is no question that India can keep its tigers forever. There are still a fair number of tigers and forest cover, all it needs is better protection and the involvement of everybody including forest officials, forest guards, local communities and scientists," said Dr George Schaller, Vice President, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Last week's killing of a tiger on the outskirts of the Corbett Park shows the need to work closely with local communities.

Tiger expert Ullas Karanth, who is involved in "Tigers Forever", says the situation is far worse than acknowledged either by the government or even Project Tiger.

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