Of the 40 tiger reserves in our country, almost 20 of them have really very low tiger density, some facing local extinction and trying to recover, some where they already are locally extinct. Various reasons like human encroachment of land coming under the area of the reserves, poaching, depleting habitat and felling of trees for agriculture, human settlements, industrialization etc have brought about the deplorable condition of our national animal.
With the many downers that we’ve been witnessing there is surely a big possibility of the extinction of these beautiful creatures. There is also a misconception among the general public that this hue and cry is just exaggeration and the world has enough tigers for something like extinction to never materialize. For all those ignorant minds, wake up! Else the day is not far off when you’d actually see it happen. So stop pretending that there is no problem when there is. Don’t put your hands up and say there’s nothing you can do for there is. The least one can do is spread awareness, it does wonders, it pressurizes the Government to act and act quick, it helps the NGO’s working for this cause, it throws light on the various alarming facts, it helps people understand the seriousness of the issue, it motivates the nation as a whole to put its act together and work towards saving the tiger.
A recent article in a leading national newspaper brought to light one of the few positive outcomes of the efforts of the Government and various NGO’s. A total of 16 villages have been relocated and rehabilitated from the Bhadra Tiger Reserve in Karnataka. This whole process had started in 1987 but picked up momentum in the late 1990’s with the active involvement of the forest and revenue departments and, more importantly, the participation of village representatives and NGOs.
This stands out as a one of a kind situation where to make way for the tigers, the humans have moved and it comes as a much needed ray of hope, for not all relocations worked well and had been handled badly. The Bhadra settlement surely would encourage the Government agencies and the NGO’s to work together and help save the tiger. This shows that there are things that if effectively and strategically done then the chances of the country’s wildlife to stay protected definitely come around.
So a bow-down to the villagers of Bhadra and the officials involved for overcoming the various political, bureaucratic hurdles and letting the tiger roar!
Here’s hoping we see many more such efforts become a success. Amen.