With fewer than 1,500 Bengal Tigers left in the wild, these magnificent cats are on the brink of extinction, and now the FDCM are threatening their survival by pushing plans to log some of the only precious natural habitat they have left.
The area due to be cut is so vital to the tigers that it was once earmarked to become a protected wildlife refuge. Care2 reader Mary Elizabeth heard about this alarming news and started a petition to fight back against this appalling decision and to help save the forest from being logged for profit.
Bengal Tiger Numbers Are Plummeting
Less than one hundred years ago, tigers prowled freely and abundantly all across the Indian subcontinent, but exploding human populations, particularly since the 1940s, have played a major role in their decline.
Through a combination of habitat destruction, poaching and human conflict, Bengal Tiger numbers have plummeted immensely in recent years, and at this rate they will be completely extinct in the wild within a few decades.
The Best Hope for Bengal Tigers
The Satpura forests of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra offer sanctuary for India’s remaining wild tigers. Consisting of several Tiger Reserves, all of which are connected by forest corridors, this green oasis is essential to the hope of the Bengal Tiger’s chance of survival.
The rocky and undulating terrain consisting of deep valleys, sandstone peaks and plunging waterfalls is covered in a blanket of thick teak forests which support much of India’s most endangered flora and fauna. It’s not just Bengal Tigers, either, that this paradise helps to protect: Sloth Bears, Indian Giant Squirrels and Crested Serpent Eagles are just some among hundreds of fascinating wildlife that takes refuge in the Satpura forests.
Giving home to many of the last of India’s tigers, The Satpura Landscape Tiger Programme works tirelessly to conserve and protect this very important tiger range, but despite their best efforts, plans to log an unforgivable amount of this delicate area are being pushed ahead.
Critical Tiger Habitat Will Be Destroyed
Plans are in place to destroy 96,300 acres of a critically important forest ecosystem in the Indian state of Maharashtra despite the fact that the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) warned of the damage it will have on the endangered Bengal Tiger numbers.
Situated between the Pench and Nagzira tiger reserves, this area of dense forest is crucial for the tigers and their cubs as it allows them to travel from one reserve to another for breeding. If the logging plans were to be put into action, a huge area of forest would be cut and sold so that new bamboo and teak plantations could be grown on the land. Not only would this devastate the wildlife living in this beautiful and delicate ecosystem, it would also put the Bengal Tiger at even more risk.
Earlier this year, the NTCA warned planners of the danger posed to the tiger’s natural habitat, offering alternative solutions and locations for the logging plans, yet this fell on deaf ears. It is another case of commercial profits coming before environmental sustainability, and key decision makers continue to ignore advice from environmental agencies in regards to the importance of this stretch of forest.
Speak Up For The Causes You Care About
Together we have the power to stand up and make our voices heard. If you care about this issue and want to show your solidarity for the animals who will lose their habitats, sign this petition now. Petitions are a great way for people to speak out against injustice and to make people rethink their actions. When thousands of people sign a petition to say something, decision makers often rethink their policies and practices.
If you care about a cause and want to make a stand against it, you can start your own petition to build awareness and support around the issue. There are many who are voiceless in the world, and they need your help.
Photo Credit: Tambako The Jaguar