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Losing Battle to Save India's Tiger From Poachers Who Sell Body Parts to China


Offbeat  (tags: animals, tigers, poaching, India, protection, wildlife )

Cher
- 357 days ago - scmp.com
The increasing number of tigers being poached in India will not come down as long as the demand for tiger products in China continues, wildlife experts say.



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Cher Away Moving (1470)
Sunday January 5, 2014, 3:51 pm


The increasing number of tigers being poached in India will not come down as long as the demand for tiger products in China continues, wildlife experts say.

The latest figures released last week show that India lost approximately 48 tigers last year to poachers.

"Until the demand is addressed and stopped, tigers will go on being killed by poachers. But this issue of demand is something that can only be tackled by China," said Belinda Wright, head of the Wildlife Protection Society of India.

According to the government-run National Tiger Conservation Authority, 63 wild tigers died last year, some to accidents, illness or old age, but 48 to organised poaching gangs who sell the body parts to China where they are used in traditional medicine.

The figure for last year given by the Wildlife Protection Society of India is slightly lower at 42. But the Society says its figure is the highest in seven years.

"The prices the poachers are fetching are so high that, despite India's attempts to enforce the law, they are prepared to take risks. They are ruthless and sophisticated. We have to reduce demand," said Tito Joseph, the Society's programme manager.

The wildlife authorities appear to be in a losing battle with the poachers who are organised and well-equipped. They can easily pay off forest guards or policemen if they get into trouble.

Increasingly, the efforts to curb poaching are focusing on gathering human intelligence so that the poaching gangs can be apprehended long before they strike.

"Poachers are being monitored, their phone conversations are being tapped and the use of technical surveillance is higher than before. But they slip out of one state and cross the border into another and that makes them difficult to pursue," said Joseph.

The good news is that tigers in protected areas are doing relatively well and the breeding scenario is good. But experts say that for genes to 'flow', old and young tigers need to spread out from these protected areas into the surrounding forest areas. But when they do, they are poisoned, electrocuted or trapped by poachers.

Moreover, large development projects such as mining, power stations and dams are also taking their toll on the tiger's habitat. In the past decade, thousands of square kilometres of forest have been destroyed for such projects.

India, with 1,706 tigers according to the last official estimate three years ago, holds half the world's tiger population. This is an improvement on the 2008 figure of 1,411.

Work on the next tiger census - the world's biggest - started last month and spans 500,000 square kilometres of forest where 90 per cent of the country's tigers live. Over 2,000 experts will work with forest officials to count the tigers

 

Justin Vale (12)
Sunday January 5, 2014, 4:42 pm
stop going to walmart. that'll put pressure on china, not petitions. they don't care about petitions, they have 1.6 billion people that trumps petitions with a few hundred or a few thousand signatures.
you want to stop them from eating dogs and cats? how much money is the pet product industry? over 70 percent is chinese. all these people that sign these petitions have chinese products for their pets or on their pets. check out who made that collar on your pet, your pets shampoo, his bed, his kitty litter.
come dudes, wake up. boycott walmart and don't buy pet products made in china and you will see them stop. you will see cats and dogs come off the menu.
when faced with big numbers and huge wallets petitions will work as well as the petitions you guys signed to save the wolf. it doesn't.
the wolves are mostly doomed now. there will be pockets here and there but they will no longer be free to roam our countrysides thanks to the well meaning but mistaken people who stopped hunters from culling them
now lets try to save that cute puppy dog from ending up as an entree. boycott walmart.
 

Peta Clarke (30)
Sunday January 5, 2014, 5:03 pm
Thank you Cher noted. India is trying to save their tigers. There is a very strong education program happening at the moment to help make people and children aware of what is going on. Lets hope it helps. It is so hard not to buy from China with all the trade agreements between Governments and China.
 

Franck R. (54)
Sunday January 5, 2014, 7:29 pm
Noted
 

DaleLovesOttawa O. (192)
Sunday January 5, 2014, 8:34 pm
Poaching is endangering the entire future of all tigers and must be stopped. There is a severe shortage of law enforcement officers to deal with poaching.
 

Judith C. (161)
Sunday January 5, 2014, 9:11 pm
Noted
 

Suzan F. (141)
Sunday January 5, 2014, 9:28 pm
Noted. That is just disgusting! Seems to me those people place no value on animal life.
 

Dogan Ozkan (5)
Sunday January 5, 2014, 10:22 pm
noted
 

Connie Palladini (94)
Sunday January 5, 2014, 11:42 pm
Noted
 

Kerrie G. (135)
Monday January 6, 2014, 1:53 am
Noted, thanks.
 

Ruth S. (298)
Monday January 6, 2014, 6:12 am
Actions not hot air!
 

Barbara D. (79)
Monday January 6, 2014, 9:19 am
Who'll last longer ~ the primitive Chinese generations or the tigers?? Not looking too good.........
 

Chaz Berlusconi (83)
Monday January 6, 2014, 9:27 am
these poachers should have their body parts cut off and sold.. disgusting and dispicable lot they are
 

Aaron Bouchard (145)
Monday January 6, 2014, 9:52 am
noted thanks
 

. (0)
Monday January 6, 2014, 2:15 pm
Kill the damned poachers. Enough is enough already.
 

. (0)
Monday January 6, 2014, 2:15 pm
I keep submitting comments that are not going through................
 

LynnCarin LadySeastar (429)
Monday January 6, 2014, 3:29 pm
Sadly Noted. It's a grim outlook, but that's why WE keep fighting for them... I pray this year will be better for the TIGERS and ALL animals. Poaching has certainly taken its toll on these amazing big cats. Let's fight ever harder for them, as much as we can. Signing petitions does help - it puts some pressure (even though it doesn't seem like it's enough, but it helps) - PRAYING for them too - I do every day. I mean, IF I could get on a plane with an army of people who love animals and SAVE them all, I would have already done that!!
 

Gabriela Baldaia (103)
Monday January 6, 2014, 5:09 pm
I took the pledge NOT TO ENTER AGAIN A CHINESE STORE !!
I agree with Justin Vale ... we have to stop buying chinese.
 

Sandi C. (217)
Monday January 6, 2014, 5:25 pm
noted with sadness
 

Sara P. (64)
Tuesday January 7, 2014, 9:15 am
Here we go again....how much I hate this country.......
 
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