Serious concerns have raised about decline in number of tigers and number will go down further if effective action will not be taken to curb illegal killing of earths’ magnificent creature. At the turn of 20th century, India had estimated 40,000 tigers in the wild. In 2000,the number was 3,642 and in 2008 we are left with only 1,411 tigers.
The government has launched various programmes and projects in order to save the remaining population of tiger. The project tiger was launched in 1972 as an initiative drive in this regard.
World Wild Life Fund (WWF) is doing a commendable job with a clear mission to protect, restore and maintain the number of tigers as well as their losing habitat.
The tiger is not just an animal. It is a biologically very important animal, which plays a pivotal role in maintaining the overall health of an ecosystem. As occupy the topmost position of the food chain, tigers help in keeping the prey population under control.
Culturally, tiger is considered as a symbol of power, beauty and ferociousness. Tragically, the belief the tiger holds a great power, even in their bones, is leading to their decline.
In the past, tigers were poached primarily for furs. But now the tigers are killed mainly for their bones and their body parts, which are easy to smuggle, and used by Chinese in various medicinal products.
Poaching is difficult to control and stop. Poaching networks are well organized, and countries in which tigers live often does not have the resources to hire, equip and train law enforcement officers.
The habitats of tigers are declining due to conversion of forests and grasslands into agriculture and settlement, to meet the growing demands of rising population, due to intrusion of grazing livestock, wood for fuel and building material.
Wildlife Conservation Society was set up in 1895 with an aim to save wildlife and wild places across the globe. WCS created the Wildlife Crimes Unit in 2003. The unit provides data and technical advices to law enforcement agencies to support the investigation and prosecution of wildlife programs.
Our national animal is in a great trouble. Time has come to secure a safe future if you want to see the tigers in future. Endangered wildlife species can be recovered if we given them a chance. We find some smart ways that will be quite helpful to control poaching to some extent.
1. To grow awareness and sensitivity to the plight of tigers.
2. Minimizing the use of products obtained from the forest.
3. Tiger poachers should be punished strictly.
4. To increase the financial assistance for tiger conservation programmes and projects.
5. To reduce the conflict between tiger and man.
6. More funds will be raised to support conservation projects as well as captive breeding.
7. To take significant steps to stop the illegal trade of tiger parts.
8. Wildlife education programmes should be organized at schools and stressing the need and benefits of conservation.
9. To enhance the capabilities and equip the staff of forest department to control illegal killing of tiger and perform their duties more efficiently in the field to nullify the chances of tiger killing.