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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Life Finds a Way

Said the cute Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park.
I say maybe a little nudge in the right direction from humans help too!
There are only 1411 numbers of our beloved stripey left and concerned citizens are collectively roaring.
We are talking of ways to lead the change.
But the buck must stop somewhere (no animal puns intended here) which is why 13 nations have come together to work on saving the tiger.

So How was my question. Will just talking and writing and sms-ing about it help? Yes it definitely makes all of us aware and sit up and think, which is why for starters I did an intensive google search to see what are the actual steps apart from awareness building that could be taken to save our tiger.

So what do I gather from my Internet tryst?

  1. For Starters- Understand- understand what it does to the ecosystem when the tiger becomes extinct- Tigers are at the top of the food chain (among other carnivores offcourse) and humans are the only threat to them. Tiger eats grazing animals and grazing animals eat vegetation. To cut a long story short- Tigers go extinct, so grazing animal population increases and they eat up the forest which in turn affects the human population. Therefore a healthy tiger population means a healthy forest / landscape.
  2. Accountability- who is accountable to protect the tigers- the government? forest department?- I found an old article which talks of privatising forests to save the tiger- involve locals, allow them to benefit out of the forest earnings, make forest reserves and wild life tourism a viable investment option for corporates.
  3. Fund Generation- Ecotourism places a value on the natural habitat of tigers which makes us stand up and protect it. Given a little peace, protection and space the tiger population should theoretically spring back to a healthy number.
  4. Discourage Poaching by legalising- If Tigers were Chicken would they have survived?- An out of the box idea suggests we farm tigers to commerciaize their body parts legally and at a fair price, we could succeed in discouraging poaching. There are arguments that counter this but well, it was worth a thought! Anything to save this guy! China seems to agree as demand means opportunity rather than a threat.
  5. Support - donate or visit accredited zoos who have a tiger conservation program on the cards like Corbett in India - We visited Corbett in 2002 and probably we were the last of the few people who actually followed a tigress. We were taken through a presentation which indicated the scary and steady decline of the various varieties of the big cat. Alas!

Go through the links, read up, think about the views. And maybe next time you take a holiday, do a wildlife tour, won't you?


Miniyamma said...

Very comprehensive post! One of the best I've read on the issue. Great job Itchy!

Usha said...

Hey this is really good. Every time I see the airtel campaign I keep wondering how I can help as I am not the one who is hunting tigers nor is anyone in my circle. This was enlightening. I will send a link to this piece to make people aware.

Itchingtowrite said...

Thanks so much MINI & uSHA