Monday, 19 December 2016

National Pride in Danger: The latest data released by Tigernet is shocking

There was a time when human intervention in nature was the lowest. The wild animals lived happily in their homes and human beings lived in theirs! And then, the human brain started thinking about developments and he started conquering all the areas where he did not even belong.

With more and more inventions in agriculture, industries, and other activities and mainly because of the greed, he started expanding and cutting forests which resulted in animals losing their property. After realizing about the extinction of animals many wildlife sanctuaries and zoos were started for the conservation. But just like many other government organizations in India, there is a lack of proper regulation. This has resulted in very little or no progress in the preservation of wildlife.

In all the wild animals, one of the most endangered species is the tiger. India takes pride in being the 1st country to home tigers with nearly 60 to 70% of world’s tiger population. But 2016 doesn’t seem very good for this large solitary cat. The data released by Tigernet (A collaboration of the National Tiger Conservation Authority and TRAFFIC India) recorded the death of more than 76 tigers in the year 2016. Karnataka has noted 13 deaths and MP has noted around one-third of the total deaths of tigers while remaining are still being scrutinized.

Even after so much of regulations, why are tigers not safe in India?

The major cause of their death is the most vicious animal called human beings. Tigers are being poached for many reasons like their skin, meat, bones, nails, etc. All these are sold in a black market. Most of the deaths are the result of poaching, poisoning, electrocution, road accidents and such direct or indirect interference of humans. Very few are noted by the tigers’ attack on each other. Humans are the tigers' most significant predator and illegal poaching is a major threat to the tigers.

We lost the queen of Ranthambore, Machali, who was the most-photographed tigress, this year. It was because of her age. Where average life expectancy of a tiger is of 12 to 13 years, Machali actually lived 19 years! But, 7 years old stunning Jai from Umred Karhandla has some different story. Jai who has been last seen in April is missing from his territory. There is no certainty whether the most beloved tiger is dead or alive. While there is news of finding his pugmarks but nobody is talking surely about the mystery behind his disappearance for so many days. There are many such cases, where the reports of tigers going missing are not taken seriously.

 The habitat is being seized from our national animal. If he comes out to our residence in search of prey or shelter, he is being poached. If he is departed to sanctuary or zoo, he has to face tremendous carelessness.

So, what do you want to do to our national pride?

Just show his photos to coming generations, describing how royal such animal used to be?

The regulatory bodies have to look at this issue very seriously. To regulate Tigers, camera trap is very useful but they are less in numbers. Radio collar is also a good option but officers are not trained properly to use them.

To protect them from poachers there is a special unit called Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) but it segregated and sometimes used for other purposes without permission. Many places are still lacking officers and regulatory bodies.

All these things have to be crucially taken care of. Otherwise, the day, when we would be showing photographs, videos and dummies of tigers to the next generation, is not very far…

Written by Medini Kajarekar
Walking through the pages to find home in words.

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