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The tiger, one of the most magnificent animals in the world, is also one of the

most endangered. A cat of beauty, strength, and majesty, the tiger is master of
all and subject to none -- except humans. Of the eight original subspecies of ti
gers, three have become extinct within the last 60 years; and there are less tha
n 50 South China tigers left on this planet -- few, and possibly none, survive i
n the wild.
There are five different kinds or subspecies of tiger alive in the world today.
These tigers are called Siberian, South China, Indochinese, Bengal, and Sumatran
. Their Latin name is Panthera tigris. Tigers are an endangered species; only ab
out 5,000 to 7,400 tigers are left in the wild. Three tiger subspecies, the Bali
, Javan, and Caspian tigers have become extinct in the past 70 years.
Poachers are continuing to exterminate the world's remaining Tigers. New demand
across Southeast Asia for the skins, teeth and claws of tigers is endangering m
uch of the great cats, particularly the Sumatran tiger. Currently, the demand fo
r Tiger parts is centered in several parts of Asia where there is a strong marke
t for traditional medicines made from items like tiger bone and body parts. Volu
mes are sizeable and there has been little enforcement action against poachers a
nd traders
What Needs to be Done to Save the Tiger:
- Local institutions and people Scientists who were closely involved in managing
tigers at the local level, Hemendra Panwar of India and Hemanta Mishra of Nepal
, pointed out an important lesson more than a decade ago: unless local community
needs are met, conservation of the tiger will not succeed and protected areas w
ill perish. Therefore, conservation programmes
must reconcile the interests of people and tigers. In most situations, a sustain
able tiger conservation strategy cannot be achieved without the full participati
on and collective action of individual rural households whose livelihoods depend
on rights of access and use of the forests where tigers live.
- Technologies for conservation of resources There already exists a wide range o
f technologies and practices in forest and watershed management and agriculture,
both traditional and new, for conservation of resources. The biological process
es that regenerate forests and make agriculture less damaging to tiger habitats
take time to become established
- Use of external institutions Institutions, such as NGOs, government department
s, and banks, can facilitate processes by which local people develop their sense
of ownership and commitment. When little effort is made to build local skills,
interest, and capacity, people have no interest or stake in maintaining structur
es or practices once the incentives for conservation stop. Success hinges on peo
ple s participation in planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation, which
leads to the formation of new institutions or the strengthening of existing one
- Conservation of tiger habitat and of prey In many areas peripheral to tiger ha
bitat, grazing lands for livestock have been converted to crops or degraded by e
xcessive use; livestock is of poor quality and of poor productivity; wood for fu
el and building has been exhausted; and sources of income are limited. The rehab
ilitation of the natural resource base of local people is essential if they are
not to seek their requirements in protected areas. This requires ecodevelopment
with the support and cooperation of specialized government organs and the non-go
vernmental conservation community.
Project Tiger
Major Regions : Madhya Pradesh, Uttaranchal, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Kerala
Famous Tiger Reserves : Kanha National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park, Corbett
National Park, Sundarbans National Park.
Other Wildlife Attractions : Leopards, Antelopes, Deers, Sambar, Gaurs.
Tour Packages of Project Tiger Reserves

Tiger sightings have become quite rare these days in India, reason being the Tig
er killings because of its multitude of medicinal or magical properties that is
why tiger trade is very profitable. Genuinely the tiger skin is not fashionable
but the smuggling of Tiger fur coats and rugs are not difficult for the impoveri
shed hunters. Even after the bans made by the government warning not to gather e
ven wood from the former hunting grounds, poaching of tigers continue.
Still efforts are continuously made to preserve these magnificent predators from
extinction. The Project tiger was launched in India in 1972 as conservation pro
gramme for saving the Indian Tiger Population. Some of the best examples of this
programmes success can be seen in the national parks situated in the high Himal
ayan region, to the mangrove swamps of the Sundarbans and the thorny scrubs of R
ajasthan. But more wildlife conservation laws and awareness among people is stil
l required to make Indian sanctuaries a safe haven for tigers.