losing its hold on tigers
28th August, 2009
THOUGH KAZIRANGA National Park in the
Northeastern state of India- Assam, still holds the unique distinction
of being the only wildlife sanctuary having highest density of tiger
population in the country, with report of six to seven tiger deaths on
an average every year, the day would not be far when there would be no
tiger left in the park even as tiger deaths continue at an alarming
rate elsewhere in the country.
There are currently 24.5 tigers
per sq km in Kaziranga National Park as against the other tiger
reserved areas of the country, which is around 17 to 18 per 100 sq km.
to a report, though the park famed for one-horned rhino, can still
boost of highest density of tiger population in the country, the number
of deaths of the royal big cats has been on the rise every year.
report revealed that 11 tigers have been killed in the last 10 months.
Between November 2008 and January 2009, about nine tigers were killed
totalling the figure of tiger casualties in the park to 11 from
November 2008 to August 2009.
Causes of deaths of tiger in
Kaziranga Park have been attributed to several reasons like poaching,
infighting and tiger-human conflict.
In addition to this,
poisoning by villagers living on the fringes and shrinking of the
habitat area have forced the big cats to stray into the neighbouring
area thus resulting in retaliatory killing.
Taking serious note
of the matter, wildlife conservationists in the region have sought the
government to move the Tiger Foundation for three tiger reserves in
Assam so as to sustain the popularity of Kaziranga being the haven for
The need of the hour has also been stressed on effective
tiger conservation mechanism and a strong anti-poaching stand.
in the country, tiger deaths continue at an alarming rate with
statistics provided by Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), a
prominent wildlife non-government, showing that at least 66 tigers lost
their lives between January 1 and August 19 this year.
23 died due to poaching and the remaining 43 died of a variety of
reasons such as infighting, old age, tiger-human conflict, accidents
According to the statistics of WPSI, in the last
eight months, Uttarkhand in the North and Karnataka in the South have
recorded particularly high numbers of tiger deaths. This illustrates
that the problem exists throughout the country.
census figures released in January 2008 showed a mere 1,411 tigers
alive as compared to 3,508 in 1997, showing a drastic drop of 60 per
In the light of the above facts, efforts being made by the
Centre to prepare the first-web based database on the endangered
species to facilitate information exchange among the governments and
agencies on illegal trade and the conservation plan in the country is
To be modelled after the EU-Trade in Wildlife
Information Exchange (EU TWIX), which is presently being used by over
431 wildlife law enforcement officials across 31 European countries and
93 enforcement agencies, including Interpol, the "Tigernet" will be an
exclusive tool to share information among the states on various aspects
of tiger population ranging from illegal trade to their breeding.
database is being prepared by the World Wild Life Fund (WWF) on behalf
of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and it is likely to
be launched by the end of this month.