Taking Tiger Protection Seriously
Is India taking tiger protection seriously? I don’t honestly see it judging by the protection afforded the tigers in the Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the north of the country (Bihar state). The Valmiki Tiger Reserve is the only park in the state of Bihar where tiger is found.
This video show how grotesquely underfunded the protection is:
The video also shows how totally lacking in awareness the poachers are as to the seriousness of the plight of the tiger. And we can’t blame them. The poachers are just getting by. Understanding the situation and finding an equally profitable means of making a living that does not destroy the tiger would be useful.
The upsetting thing is that the Bengal tiger has been in massive decline for decades. Well over a century actually. In the case of this particular reserve the already low (unsustainable?) population of tigers in 2005 of 33 has fallen to about 10 in 2009. If people say “about” followed by a number it is going to be a lower number than the one stated if we are talking about tigers. It is a kind of denial. And even today at the 11th hour neither funding nor commitment is not there.
But maybe something will happen at the 11th hour. We are told that Bihar is likely to have “Tiger Protection Force” soon (sounds very efficient doesn’t it). As mentioned the park in question is in the state of Bihar. Funding is being applied for as I understand it from central funds (the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)?). There will be 20 people making up a new Tiger Protection Force.
The funding to set up the force, as I understand, amounts to 2 million rupees (Rs 20 lakh = 20 x 100,000 rupees). 2 million rupees is £26,022. Is this for the first year? What happens later on? This amount is the cost of a Volkswagen Beetle in India by the way.
Why do I feel less than enthusiastic about this? Because I just don’t feel even after hearing this news that the people charged with the task of conservation are taking tiger protection seriously enough.
Here is a map showing where the park is – you can click on the flag: