Tiger poachers 'escaping the law'
(UKPA) – Jan 20, 2010
A wildlife conservationist has slammed the Indian government's efforts to crack down on tiger poaching.
As many as 417 tigers were killed between 2000 and 2009 in India, but just 11 of the 882 suspected poachers arrested over the last decade have been convicted.
Belinda Wright, executive director of the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) and a senior conservationist working to combat poaching and the escalating wildlife trade, especially in tigers, told the Deccan Chronicle: "Poaching is a huge threat to tigers and wildlife as a whole.
"It can wipe out endangered species if wildlife protection laws are not implemented effectively. India has to make a vocal decision to save the tiger and its habitat from destruction.
"Lack of accountability and cooperation by many of the state governments is proving a big hurdle in conservation."
She added: "In 2009 alone India lost 85 tigers. Thirty eight per cent of them were killed by poachers, 41% were found dead and 16% died as a result of fights with other tigers. This calls for tightening of laws around wildlife protection."