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How is the condition of tigers in India?

Saturday - August 25, 2018 11:19 am , Category : OPINION & INTERVIEW

WTN- India is one of the last homes of the tiger which makes it very important for her to ensure its safety, conservation and growth. Fortunately, as dwindling population of the species threatened its very existence, India took up some urgent steps to reverse the trend and ended up substantially raising its numbers. Today with around 4,000 tigers in the wild, we are seeing their healthy growth, especially when seen in the backdrop of 2006 when their numbers had alarmingly reduced to just about 1,400. There were fears that if immediate steps were not taken, with a span of a few years we won’t have a single tiger left in the wild.

With consistent efforts by the government, NGOs, global bodies and animal activists, things have drastically improved in the last five years or so. The government had a big role to play as an initiator and facilitator of the resurrection project. Government funding was prioritised and the focus was not lost.

Resources were efficiently mobilised and results were sought and recorded diligently in a time-bound manner so that no laxity could make way. The forest department staffers were trained, briefed specifically about their role and adequately resourced to carry forward the process with the required alacrity and efficiency. There was constant monitoring by the government, which kept the effort on track. Several private players and global animal rights bodies were roped into ideate, innovate and technologically assist us in saving the tiger.

The possible extinction of the tiger was a global concern and the attention of the world was on India as to how she manages the show. By raising their numbers, we have proved that if we want we can do great. If there is honesty of purpose, clarity of vision and a focused and consistent effort at something, we can be no lesser than any other country in wildlife conservation. If there is the right willingness, there is nothing we cannot do. Raising the numbers of the tiger was an onerous task that needed a very precise and disciplined approach over a sustained period of time.

The vastness and variety of the Indian topography, diverse terrains and forest patterns and weather variations across her length and breadth make the task all the more difficult. The right kind of coordination between the different states and forest zones and the perfect synchronisation of the whole work culture geared towards a particular mission must have been excellent and impeccable, without which the numbers could not be raised in such a short period. This is perhaps the most difficult job in India— to be on the same page. But the task is yet far from over. The forest ecosystem is still very fragile and vulnerable.

Any imbalance can tip the scale and take us back to square one. Poachers are still active and security of forests is very much a concern, especially in the face of a growing human population and subsequent intrusion and interference of humans in the forest ecology that threaten wildlife. The effort has to go on. Complacency is the killer. Four thousand is still a modest number. The tiger is one of the most vital components of the food chain and its importance cannot be understated. We have to further enhance its numbers and ensure its adequate protection.

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