29 tigers gone in 3 months, Govt sits up
First Published: 00:59 IST(21/3/2009)
Last Updated: 01:02 IST(21/3/2009)
Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar’s support to the campaign to save tigers could not have come at a better time with the country losing 29 tigers in less than three months this year.
Ten tigers have died in Kaziranga sanctuary in Assam and seven in Kanha in Madhya Pradesh in last few months.
Based on the feedback from state governments and NGOs, the Environment ministry has sent teams of the Wildlife Crime Bureau and National Tiger Conservation Authority to investigate the cause of the deaths. “If this is a trend, then we have to stop it,” said an Environment ministry official.
“Many of these deaths have been the result of territorial fights caused by the degradation of habitat outside the core area, said Tito Joseph of the Wildlife Protection Society of India.
While the poaching incidents are on the decline, experts are alarmed at poor habitat quality becoming a cause for tiger conflict with humans — like in Corbett National Park, where two tigers were declared man-eaters in recent past.
Not only Tendulkar, country’s top tiger experts like Belinda Wright, Valmik Thapar, Bitoo Sehghal and P.K. Sen have earlier asked the Union government to take immediate steps to protect tigers.
The steps suggested by them include looking into unscientific relocation methods and fixing accountability of officers in the areas where tiger population has fallen.