Support Conservation In India!


A Royal Bengal Tiger at Kaziranga National Park in India in 2014. CreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images

Some moderately good news from the home front here in India gets us back in the mood to shout out in the interest of conservation-focused tourism:

Number of Tigers in the Wild Is Rising, Wildlife Groups Say

There are now an estimated 3,890 wild tigers, mostly in Asia, up from a worldwide tiger population of 3,200 estimated in 2010, the World Wildlife Fund and Global Tiger Forum announced on Monday. Wild tigers are considered endangered and had seen shrinking numbers because of hunting, poaching and loss of habitat, such as deforestation, particularly in Sumatra, for palm oil, and paper and pulp industries, the groups said. The official count had declined every year since 1900, when tigers numbered an estimated 100,000.

“For the first time after decades of constant decline, tiger numbers are on the rise,” said Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, in a statement. “This offers us great hope and shows that we can save species and their habitats when governments, local communities and conservationists work together.”

The report was based on wild tiger data from 13 countries. It was released ahead of a major tiger conservation meeting scheduled to begin Tuesday in New Delhi, with remarks by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India. The meeting will be the first since governments agreed at a summit in Russia in 2010 to double the wild tiger population by 2022.

In the 2016 report, the countries that showed increases in their wild tiger count included India (2,226); Russia (433); Nepal (198); and Bhutan (103). The numbers are estimates.

The rise is likely because some countries are adding more territory to their national surveys, and conservation efforts are likely to be paying off.

Advances in technology since 2010 have also helped national surveys in some countries show an upward trend, said Ginette Hemley, the WWF senior vice president of wildlife conservation.

Tiger excrement is analyzed for DNA, and cameras that are triggered by motion and planted in forests help capture images of tigers that a human tracker might not have been able to see.

Their striping patterns are as unique as human fingerprints, and can therefore be used to more accurately count individual animals.

“Tigers are very secretive and nocturnal animals and they are inherently hard to count,” Ms. Hemley said in a telephone interview. “The tools we are using now are more precise than they were six years ago.”

“The trend is going in a good direction over all,” she said…

Read the whole article here.

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