After sparing serious thoughts, the biologists have placed the tigers (panthera tigris) at the top of the list of most important endangered animals that are presently facing the menace of extinction. This is become the center of focus for the most significant conservation efforts that have been or going to be made in the year 2010, being the tiger year. The slogan “Save our Tigers” has created a buzz across the web with the fall of 2010. Models and celebrities have stepped forward alongside the many organizations and companies to raise their roars for “Save our Tigers”. Noble job indeed! But can this really make any difference? We, being animal lovers, have been blogging on animals and have posted our thoughts about Save our Tigers campaign. But we hardly feel that we can make any difference in the present situation that tigers across the globe are facing theses days! Yes… the tiger traders are quite aware of the fact that tigers are facing the threat of extinction and they are sure to find a place in museums if trading is not stopped. Who cares?? We, at In Love of Animals, don’t expect them to spare minutes on this blog and think about the poor animals. We have spared serious thoughts on the issue and raised our roars for the campaign in our post save our tigers. What we have written there is what we mean!
Diane Walkington, the head of species program for the WWF in the UK said, “this year has been designated the International Year of Biodiversity by the United Nations and so we have created a list of 10 critically important endangered animals that we believe will need special monitoring over the next 12 months…” He added, “there is particular importance in selecting a creature such as the tiger for special attention. To save the tiger, we have to save its habitat – which is also home to many other threatened species. So if we get things right and save the tiger, we will also save many other species at the same time.” Right said Mr. Walkington. We have to save the habitat. But how? Who will stop cutting forest? What’s the meaning of these kind of campaigns like “Save our Tigers”, if the criminals are not caught and punished?
With only around 3,200 tigers left on the planet, as per the census report 2010 goes, what are the steps to protect them from extinction? Most probably the 2010 tiger census that had begun on January 22, 2010, will sharpen up the debate on resettling forest dwellers. While this will go definitely in favor of the conservation but this may spark up confusion regarding the settlement of the forest dwellers. The primary report laid by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) states, "the principle components that significantly contributed to explaining variation in tiger densities were primarily those containing information on tiger sign indices, prey indices, anthropogenic disturbances and wilderness values." Tigers have to be protected. Studies have shown that they indirectly protect the habitat for Indian Gaur, wild dogs, Sloth Bear, leopards, Sambhar, wild boars, Cheetal and Nilgai in the wild. The Indian government seems quite optimistic with the conservation methods this year about protecting the big cats, although the last census delivered a terribly shocking figure. The death of 59 tigers from January to November 2009 was really worrying.
Note: The all-India 2010 census on the tiger population is being conducted by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) as a joint effort. There had been allegations that the states had fudged tiger counts in the past, which is said to be varying somewhere between 1,165 and 1,657. This is why the present campaign to save the tigers opted for settling for an average figure which is 1,411 tigers.
Rajesh Gopal, the head of NTCA said, "for the first time, we will be using the double sampling method which will be a combination of using camera trapping of the big cat. We will also be using GIS maps to help factor in the habitat and the status of the forests."