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From 40,000 down to 1,411 – India’s Tigers Losing The Battle For Survival?

In Environment, India, People Making A Difference on June 10, 2009 at 10:50 am

This is the link to WWF’s campaign to save India’s tigers.

2007 Tiger poaching ring busted by police in Allahabad, India.

Photo credit: National Geographic- 2007 Tiger poaching ring busted by police in Allahabad, India.

By Antoinette Alexander

This is the sad state of the Tiger, India’s National Animal – the tiger population has dropped from 3,642 in 2002 to only 1,411 last year. At the turn of the century India had 40,000 tigers in the wild. The reasons for the decline: habitat depletion, poaching and “irresponsible tourism.”

India’s tigers could be completely wiped out within a decade or two. It is a concern the government-run National Tiger Conservation Authority is taking very seriously as tourists are now banned from the heartlands of the 37 national tiger reserves in India. Tourists will still be allowed to visit buffer zones on the edges of the parks.

According to some environmentalists, excessive tourism can make the tigers extremely vulnerable to poaching because they grow accustomed to the presence of humans and vehicles. In addition, tourism is a disturbance to the animals and appears to be altering their behavior and breeding patterns.

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