|Fighting chance for India's tigers: Poaching declines
February 8, 2012 IANS New Delhi
cheering news for wildlife conservationists, tiger poaching dropped
nearly 60 percent in 2011 as compared to the previous year, though it
continues to pose a major threat to the survival of the big cat in the
country, a leading NGO said.
According to the Wildlife
Protection Society of India (WPSI), 13 tigers were hunted last year as
compared to 30 in 2010 - a decline of 57 percent. The bodies of poached
tigers, seized bones and skins were computed to arrive at the figures.
other factors like road accidents, infighting, fighting with other
animals, electrocution, found dead, and rescue and treatment, the
overall toll rises to 61. In 2010, it was 58.
However, top on the list of WPSI's tiger mortality is the found dead figure, 21.
The toll from infighting was the same as that of poaching. In the previous year, 10 tigers died in such fights.
has been definitely a decrease in poaching cases in 2011 compared to
2010, but it does not mean poaching has stopped," WPSI's Tito Joseph
"This could be due to effective patrolling strategies
adopted by the tiger authority (National Tiger Conservation Authority)
in coordination with other agencies," Joseph said.
The illegal wildlife trade continues to be a major threat to tigers.
Joseph said traders were offering huge amounts of money in black markets for tiger body parts.
trade activities were detected in Vietnam and Cambodia. The threat is
not only from China (a known hub for such trade) but also from
Southeast Asian countries," he said.
"We need to be vigilant 24 hours 365 days," Joseph said.
articles always have a very premium market and prices are not going to
come down easily," U.C. Tiwari, wildlife warden of the Corbett National
Park, Uttarakhand, told IANS.
The 1,200-plus sq km Corbett sanctuary is one of the 39 tiger reserves in the country.
poaching figure only reflects the cases that come to light and it may
not truly reflect the ground condition, said Tiwari. He warned that the
situation could turn alarming if the mortality rate of adult tigers
"Because adult tigers don't die easily,... there has to be some extraordinary circumstance."
According to WPSI, of the 21 tigers found dead in 2011 many were adult tigers. In 2010, 15 tigers were found dead.