China tiger lead

Original source, credits text and photograph

Hong Kong – Asia Times

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Less than a decade ago, the 13 nations where tigers still lived free met in St Petersburg, Russia, and pledged to reverse this majestic cat’s long prowl toward extinction at the hands of human predators. The moment was hailed as historic – the start of an unprecedented undertaking spearheaded by the tiger-range states and supported by a number of partners that included the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility, the United States, Germany and non-governmental organizations including WWF.

Their simple-sounding but ambitious goal was to double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger on the Chinese lunar calendar. In 2010, it was estimated there were as few as 3,200 tigers remaining in the wild.

Commentary

WWF, the Worldwide Fund for Nature, is a leading conservation NGO and hardly speaks out against tiger farming.

One is because WWF helped China starting its farming, with delivering pure Amur tigers from US zoos (in cooperation with WCS). Another reason is that WWF can’t raise its voice against China as it is affraid to lose its permit to work there – jeopardizing all their work.

Now one of the WWF-employees speaks out against China, but still very diplomatic. It calls for China to take the lead in fighting the tiger trade.

In the article the St Petersburg conference is mentioned. An historic moment for tiger conservation. WWF was the co-organizor of the Global Tiger Initiative and everybody expected that the subject of tiger farming would be on the agenda.

But is was not. China blocked this. And WWF agreed upon it – for obvious reasons.

Now – 9 years late – WWF is making a U-turn.

What would be the reason?

Dog squads

Original source, credits text and photograph

India – Deccan Chronicle

Wildlife Dog Squads In Telugu States Help Solve 31 Cases.

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The dog squads inducted into the forests have performed effectively in identifying crimes and tracking criminals. The German Shepherds squads have helped the forest departments of the Telugu States by solving 31 cases in which 40 criminals were arrested.

The four dogs sent to AP and TS have been deployed in tiger reserves but their services are also being used outside whenever there is a requirement. In AP, the two dogs received in October 2016 have been posted at the Atmakur forest division in Kurnool district and Dornala in Prakasam district. Both divisions are part of the Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam tiger reserve.

Commentary

Good news from Indian Teluga states where dog squads help to solve more and more wildlife crimes.

Not only that, the dogs also create a daunting perspective to poachers: they don’t feel safe in villages anymore.

Keep up the good work!

History tigers

Original source, credits text and photograph

India – Scroll

How ‘Guptaji’ Aka Ashok Kumar Helped Pull Off India’s Largest Seizure Of Tiger And Leopard Skins.

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The street inside the Tibetan settlement at New Delhi’s Majnu ka Tila wound around a cluster of small businesses. Striped Tibetan chubas and western skirts hung above the awnings of some shops. Ball. Food stalls with red plastic seats served steaming bowls of thukpa and po cha.

Walking briskly around the area, Guptaji headed to where he knew his contact was waiting. A middle-aged man of middling height, silver hair receding at the brow, clad in pants and a blue shirt, Guptaji carried a brown, scuffed duffel bag.

He found a plastic chair. A bowl of po cha appeared, followed by a man carrying a parcel wrapped in an old Hindustan Times newspaper. Guptaji opened his duffel bag and his companion briefly glanced into it. He, in turn, opened his parcel for Guptaji to inspect.

Commentary

Beautiful hommage by Vivek Menon, co-founder of the Wildlife Trust of India, to the founding father of Indian wildlife fighting, Ashok Kumar – a.k.a. Guptaji to celebrate his 84th birth anniversary.

PERHILITAN-DIRECTOR

Original source, credits text and photograph

Malaysia – MalayMail

In Ops To Save Tigers, Johor Perhilitan Finds Signs Of Poachers From Abroad.

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Thought to number fewer than 200 in the wild, the critically endangered Malayan tiger is being threatened by foreign poachers on home ground.

In a recent Ops Belang, the government’s initiative to protect the dwindling tiger population in its natural habitat, the Johor Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) found traps and abandoned camps in the jungle that point to poachers from Indochinese countries ― judging from the food wrappers, food cans and cigarette wrappers found.

 

“Our initial investigation showed that many of these poachers come from Indochina countries where some came into Malaysia illegally while others have work permits as they are employed in factories here.

Commentary

While Malaysia is finally stepping up to do something about the terrible state of Malayan tigers, it only points fingers to foreign poachers.

No word still about encroachment or burning down precious habitats by logging companies on behalf of the palm oil and paper and pulp industries.

Dhaka zoo tiger

Original source, credits text and photograph

Bangladesh – Dhaka Tribune

Is Bangladesh Going To Fail In Doubling Tiger Population?

Content

Due to the wildlife hunting and trafficking, illegal trade of wildlife, deforestation and environmental catastrophe, not only tigers but other wild animals also became endangered in the world. Considering the situation, the tiger range countries (TRC), including Bangladesh, in 2010 at the Tiger Summit in Russia, decided to double the number of tigers in their respective countries by 2022. 

According to the forest department, the number of tigers in Bangladesh has increased by eight in the last three years, which is only 8%. At the same time, the number of tigers in India has increased by 741.

Now the question is: “Is the Bangladesh Forest Department going to fail to achieve the desired goal of increasing the tiger population within a certain period?”

Commentary

Bangladesh fails in doubling the tiger numbers, as agreed upon in 2010.

The reasons are obvious but the excuses come as the year 2022 is getting closer.

Tigers AI

Original source, credits text and photograph

United Kingdom – BBC

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Researchers in the United States have developed AI software which can predict where poachers are operating. The PAWS programme, created by a team from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, has led to around 20 times more snares being discovered in the Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary in Cambodia. It’s hoped this could eventually make it possible for tigers to be reintroduced to the park.

The software is due to be gradually rolled out in hundreds of national parks across the globe in the coming months.

Commentary

In the coming months software with artificial intelligence (AI) will be distributed to hundreds of national parks across the globe.

This software can predict where poachers are operating.

The PAWS Programme was created by the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, an elite part of USC – the University of South California.

Original source, credits text and photograph

India – Outlook

Last Bagha Nacha.

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The mighty roar is now a mere whimper in the forests of Odisha. The Royal Bengal tiger, once lovingly described by writer-conservationist Jim Corbett as a “large- hearted gentleman”, is waging a grim battle for survival in the state.

The latest tiger census estimates the number of big cats in the state at 28, the same number reported four years earlier. In contrast, the all-India growth in tiger numbers is 33 per cent, with nearly 3,000 counted across the country in the 2018 census. States like Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra rec­orded spectacular growths of 71 per cent and 64 per cent, according to data released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on World Tiger Day, July 29.

Commentary

Odisha, once a safehaven for tigers, is now struggling. Poaching, lack of prey, respected men that quarrel about methods…

The state of Odisha and the NTCA need to get their acts together and
end the ego-wars to create the best conditions for tigers again.

Captive tigers

Original source, credits text and photograph

USA – Mongabay

Big Cat Trade Driven By Demand For Traditional Asian Medicine, According To Report.

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Traditional Asian medicine is driving the growing international trade in big cat products and leading to the mistreatment of thousands of animals, according to a recent report.

Bones, blood, and other body parts of big cats are made into products such as balms, capsules, gels, and wines that practitioners of traditional Asian medicine believe to be able to cure ailments ranging from arthritis to meningitis, though in fact they’ve been found to have no provable health benefits. Even before the cats are killed, however, they’re treated more like products than living, breathing creatures, according to the report, released last month by the London-based NGO World Animal Protection.

Commentary

Survey of World Animal Protection shows that the big cat trade is driven by the demand for traditional Chinese medicines (TCM).

This demand from China leads to extensive poaching, tiger farming, illegal wildllife trade, extortion and even instable governments.

Tiger skin

Original source, credits text and photograph

Indonesia – Tempo

Police Nab Tiger Skin Traders In East Java.

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The Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s Directorate General of Law Enforcement (Gakkum) section II and the Forestry Police for Java, Bali, Nusa Tenggara arrested a suspect identified as B (31) for allegedly trading tiger skin and dozens of parts of protected animals in East Java, August 7.

“We develop an investigation case from our two operations to examine other networks related to this crime against protected animals,” said Mohammad Nur, the Gakkum head, in a statement, Monday, August 12.

Commentary

Three suspects are arrested on East Java in Indonesia with pieces of fresh tiger skin, three pieces of tiger head skin, nine pieces of tiger head skin in the form of reog (traditional mask), a piece of tiger tail skin, and a piece of tiger skin’s part.

This crime can (and must) lead to a jail sentence of 5 years in Indonesia.

Sniffer dog for tigers

Original source, credits text and photograph

India – The Shillong Times

Aaranyak Provides Sniffer Dog, 2 Motorcycles To Boost Security In Orang Park.

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Biodiversity conservation and research Organisation, Aaranyak provided a unit of its K9 squad of sniffer dog to Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park; and gifted two motorcycles to Darrang district police.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Secretary General of Aaranyak, Dr Bibhab Talukdar who handed over the items to respective police and forest authorities, informed that it was part of Aaranyak’s sustained efforts to boost the continuous endeavours of Assam Police and Assam Forest Department to prevent/check wildlife crimes in the area so as to protect the wildlife species including the one-horned rhino and the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger (RBT) in Orang National Park that spread over about 80 square kilometer areas in Darrang-Sonitpur districts of North Assam (Darrang-Sonitpur district).

The motorcycles have been gifted to Darrang district police at the request of the Superintendent of Police, Amrit Bhuyan for the purpose of augmenting patrolling by police personnel engaged in checking and prevention of wildlife crimes including hunting of animals in the National Park.“The two-wheelers would be handy for strengthening the networking with the Village Defence Parties which have been instrumental in checking wildlife crimes,” the SP said.

 

 

Commentary

NGOs Aaranyak and David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation provide motorbikes and a Sniffer Dog to Indian wildlife reserve Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park.

Raising the question: why is this necessary if the Indian government is earning so much money on tiger conservation?

tiger crossing highway

Original source, credits text and photograph

India – Deccan Herald

Bandipur: Supreme Court Asks Centre To Develop New Route As National Highway.

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The Supreme Court has asked the Union government to develop the alternative route as the national highway to ensure that the roads, passing through the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, is shut down permanently, since the issue related to “nothing less
than the core area of the national park”.

A bench of Justices R F Nariman and Surya Kant, which ordered that the night traffic ban on the national highway 212 should remain in operation, asked the Ministry of Environment, Forest (MoEF) and Climate Change to give suggestions within four weeks as to how NH 275 and the State Highway number 90 can be made into a national highway.
 

Commentary

The Supreme Court has asked the government to develop the alternative route as the national highway to ensure that the roads, passing through the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, is shut down permanently, since the issue related to “nothing less than than the core area of the national park”.

A victory for the Bandipur Tiger Reserve and a lesson for ignorant, egoistic governments and construction companies.

 

Odisha tiger

Original source, credits text and photograph

India – Odisha Bytes

Claws Out On Big Cat Count In Odisha.

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The recent tiger census showed a sorry figure for Odisha. While tiger numbers have increased in the country to 2,967 at present from 1,411 in 2006, there has been a decrease in Odisha

In 2002, there were 192 tigers in Similipal. Today, there are 28 tigers left in Odisha, according to the Ministry of Environment and Forest. This number has sparked a debate and the state government has decided to contest the census claim by doing its own survey.

Tigers were historically counted by pug-mark method — a technique invented in Odisha. Today, it is aided by camera-trap technology for more accurate estimation, explained Dr Biswajit Mohanty, Chairman of Greenpeace India.

 

 

Commentary

The numbers of tigers in Indian state Odisha are down, leading to finger pointing.
 
One points out to the methodology: the way of counting tigers must be wrong. Another points out that the protection of tigers is just a mess.

Chhattisgarh Tiger

Law And Order Issues Leading To Drop In Tiger Numbers: Chhattisgarh Officials

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 Senior officials of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) that overlooked the tiger census in Chhattisgarh have said that they are not “surprised” at the drop in numbers of the big cats in the state’s tiger reserves, and highlighted poor protection and the need for an improvement in habitat in the state. 

Nationally, tiger numbers have increased to 2,967, as per the estimate report released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday. Chhattisgarh was one state where the numbers dropped drastically – from 46 in 2014 to an estimated 19 tigers in 2018

Commentary

How is it possible that in 4 years time the number of tigers in Chhattisgarh tiger reserves drop with more than 50 per cent (from 46 to 19)?

And even more important: how come the NTCA is ‘not suprised’?

If they knew all along, why didn’t they anticipate?

Wildlife crime

The UNODC released a report this month that said the number of wildlife trafficking seizures in Myanmar is considerably lower than those made elsewhere in the Mekong sub-region but the country is an increasingly important transit point for the illicit wildlife trade.

From 2013 to 2017, officials seized 34 shipments of pangolin scales and other parts, totalling more than 1.2 tonnes.

Myanmar also has a modest illegal trade in elephant skin, which is often found for sale in popular markets in special economic zones such as Mine Lar and Tachileik in Shan State.

 

Tiger census

Amid the regular distressing news of tiger deaths due to vehicular accidents and retaliatory killings, the findings of the “Status of Tigers in India-2018” report are heartening. In 2010, the Chinese Year of the Tiger, at the Tiger Summit in Saint Petersburg, India and the other 12 tiger range countries committed to doubling wild tiger numbers by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger. In 2010, the estimated wild tiger population in India was 1706; the latest corresponding figure is 2967, within sight of the target, and well in time. Collectively, the nation needs to celebrate. Since the last estimate of 2266 tigers in 2014, the report shows an impressive 31 per cent increase.

Although the report has its share of unanswered questions as well as grey areas of interpretation, we do not find any obvious discrepancies. Particularly impressive is the scientific rigour and the use of modern techniques of estimation. The methodology is as robust as it can be, using a combination of camera trap images, pug marks, tiger scats as well as habitat mapping. With a survey that covered 3,81,400 km of forested habitats in 20 tiger range states of India involving a foot survey of 5,22,996 km and camera traps deployed at 26,838 locations, one cannot question the robustness of the exercise. Most importantly, a total of 2,461 individual tigers were photo-captured. Thereafter, combining the estimated forest areas, grading them based on prey density and local ecology, the overall tiger population was anywhere between 2,603 to 3,346 with a standard error of approximately 12 per cent.

Kaziranga tiger

An evaluation report on India’s tiger reserves has put the spotlight on an alleged nexus between some officials of Kaziranga National Park and poachers.

Kaziranga, a World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO, is more popular as the world’s best address for the one-horned rhino. It is also been a major tiger reserve covering an area of 1,080 sq km.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier this week released the management effectiveness evaluation reports for tiger reserves across the country, including Kaziranga.

Tiger teeth

Officials in Kolkata seized elephant tusks weighing about 12 kilograms and tiger teeth, worth over Rs. 1 crore, on Tuesday. Three people have been arrested.

A team of officers of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence arrested a woman with two pieces of elephant tusk weighing over 4 kilograms. The woman had smuggled the animal parts from Assam and was about to hand over to her husband, the mastermind of the smuggling ring.

“DRI officers busted a syndicate involved in smuggling of elephant tusks and tiger teeth. About 12 kgs of elephant tusks and five pieces of tiger teeth cumulatively valued at 1.147 crore were recovered. Three persons were arrested,” a statement from the agency said.

TCM

World Animal Protection has completed its first ever global, multiple-country examination of the supply chain feeding the insatiable demand for big cat products, such as tiger bone wine and traditional medicines.

Such products are popular in Asia despite the fact they have no proven medical benefits, and this study highlights the grave danger that animals such as lions and tigers, face as a result.

The organization’s research exposes how big cat farms are harvesting lions in South Africa and tigers in Asia to feed demand, as well as investigating attitudes towards these products from those who consume them.

Malayan tiger conservation

Policemen including those from the General Operations Force (GOF) and Special Branch roped in to fight poachers, need to be exposed to and equip themselves with conservation knowledge.

Malaysian Nature Society vice-president Vincent Chow said there should be training and simulations involving situations where they came across tigers in the wild.

“Will they shoot if they come across a tiger? Do they know what to do? Knee-jerk reactions could be triggered and we don’t want that to happen. I’m no expert on this (firearms), but this has to be considered,” said Chow, who cited his experience spotting a tiger at a riverbank in a national park.

He said local communities should be more engaged in wildlife conservation as “they are the guardians of nature”.

EU tigers

The EU on Monday launched a €10 million ($11.14 million) project for strengthening government actions to combat wildlife trade in the Greater Mekong, Malaysia and China.

The ‘Partners against Wildlife Crime’ initiative seeks to “disrupt the illicit supply chains of wildlife from source to market in the Greater Mekong Region, Malaysia and China by leveraging civil society partnerships to increase the effectiveness of Government action,” said an EU press release released at a seminar in Hanoi on Monday, the International Tiger Day.

The joint effort the World Conservation Society (WCS) and Pan Nature started in January 2019 and will last until December 2022, the organizers said at the seminar, which was also to review Vietnam’s tiger conservation efforts.

The EU is putting €8 million into the project, while the rest will come from the other partners.

 

Melaka zoo tiger

The fate of the Malayan tiger hangs in the balance as poaching continues even in the tiger priority site of Belum-Temengor forest reserve, along with the decline in the number of other wildlife that the tiger relies on for food.

In an interview with Bernama, WWF (World Wildlife Fund) Malaysia, Tiger Landscape Lead Dr Mark Rayan Darmaraj said the tiger population in the country today has sadly declined to fewer than 200.

Poaching activities, driven by high demand for the tiger body parts for traditional Chinese medicine and other purposes, have drawn hunters from as far as Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia into the country.

Future for tigers uncertain

An adult tiger from Pilibhit Tiger Reserve in Uttar Pradesh brutally beaten to death by villagers on July 24; 12 tigers dying due to electrocution in last 2.5 years and 5 tigers being poisoned to death in last six months in Maharashtra alone.

These are just indicators about the threats tigers face and also raises doubts whether conservation is heading in right direction. Even if figures released by Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), a NGO working for wildlife law enforcement, are considered, there is spurt in tiger body parts seizures indicating rise in poaching. In 2018, of the 104 tiger deaths recorded in India, 43 were unnatural including 34 due to poaching, 4 shot dead or killed by villagers and 3 dying in accidents.

“Till July 25 this year, 76 tiger deaths have been recorded, more than 70% of the total deaths in 2018. These include 31 due to poaching,” says Tito Joseph, programme coordinator of WPSI. The figures indicate that the highest-tiger-holding status with India is itself a challenge for tiger conservation.

The county’s tiger habitats are under critical conditions facing tremendous anthropogenic as well as development pressure as a result of which tigers are killed in human attacks, poaching, human-centric acts and linear projects. “Tigers could not even adopt natural behaviour for survival or avoid internal specie competition due to loss of large natural forest cover.

Even fragmented forest patches are hardly available for their survival. This is the biggest challenge India faces to manage tiger populations,” says Prafulla Bhamburkar, coordinator of Maharashtra, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). This year, Maharashtra lost 15 tigers, of which 6 deaths were due to poisoning (3 in Chimur) and 3 due to body parts seizure after electrocution in Bhandara district. The state is second to neighbouring Madhya Pradesh which lost 17 tigers in last 7 months.

Striped lion

When the Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP) was rolled out in 2010, it announced the exigency and intent in rather dramatic terms.

The programme, endorsed in the St Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation, was billed as the “last best hope for tigers”. Inaction could lead to extinction of the “world’s most magnificent species”, the programme’s executive summary had warned. Nine years into the ambitious programme, designed over the period between 2010 and 2022, the intent appears to have translated to a rise in the number of big cats in India, one of the 13 Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) in the GTRP.

The TRCs’ shared goal of doubling the number of tigers globally by 2022 could still be viewed as unrealistic but conservationists see in these numbers a possibility to optimise ongoing efforts — in restoring a depleted prey base, reviving habitats, building new resources for site-specific strategies and more crucially, in improving protection of forests with minimal conflict.

Y V Jhala, scientist at the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India, sees in the task for 2022 a “good target for politicians” to work toward and feels that the post-2010 thrust has, despite setbacks in some of the TRCs, had impressive returns. The senior scientist is working on the 2018 tiger census, a project that monitors the status of tigers, co-predators, prey and their habitat in India. The report is scheduled to be released by the end of July.

Daily Star tiger

Research estimates there are fewer than 4,000 of the big cats left in the wild. A century ago there were around 80,000.

The crisis is blamed on poachers and trophy hunters. Economic development is also a major factor in their decline because it ruins their habitat.

Campaigner Martin Hughes-Games has been studying the tiger count in India, which accounts for 60% of those left.

He said: “India is a country that’s industrialising incredibly fast. There are roads and railway lines and industries everywhere you look.

Sariska tiger ecology

The recent spate of tiger deaths in Sariska Tiger Reserve, the last one being reported on 8 June 2019 (Suri 2019), does not augur well for big cat conservation in the country. It also brings into question the efficacy of the tiger reintroduction programme in the reserve that began in 2008. It is important to explore not only the immediate causes of tiger deaths, but also the long-term factors, given the chronic, larger challenges of wildlife conservation in a developing country like India. 

Poaching and Local Extinction

Sariska, an 866 sq km protected area located in the Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan, became the epicentre of conservation debates in early 2005, soon after tigers were reported to have disappeared from there as a result of poaching (Shahabuddin 2010: 1–4). At the time, government reports suggested that the last few tigers had been poached with the connivance of resident Gujjar villagers in Sariska (Rediff.com 2005; Gupta 2005; Environmental Justice Atlas 2019). Subsequently, a number of arrests were made and the reserve was blocked off to the public and researchers for investigations. Swift governmental action largely focused on poaching, and attempted to solve the issue by stepping up protective measures and amending the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 to enhance punitive regulations (Shahabuddin 2010: 5).

Tiger cubs dead

A haul of frozen tiger carcasses found in a car in Hanoi has led to the arrest of a key wildlife trafficking suspect, Vietnamese state media said on Friday, as the country tries to tackle a well-worn smuggling route from Laos.

Nguyen Huu Hue, who is believed to have smuggled animals in from neighbouring Laos for years, was arrested on Thursday with two other people after seven dead tigers were discovered in their vehicle at a parking lot, according to Cong An Nhan Dan newspaper.

“Hue set up a company… which sells building material as a cover for the illegal trading of tigers and wildlife,” Cong An Nhan Dan, the official mouthpiece of the Ministry of Public Security, reported.
All seven tigers appeared to be cubs, according to photos of the seizure.

Malayan tiger under threat

Recently a tiger walked down the main thoroughfare of Kampung Besul (video here), a village in the north coastal state of Terengganu, sending villagers fleeing in all directions. The cat, dubbed the “friendly tiger” because it did no one any harm, later died of canine distemper disorder, which probably explains why it “went tame” and strolled through the town.

Malaysia is one of the most biodiverse countries on earth, and the rain forests of Peninsular Malaysia, along with those of southern Thailand, are the oldest on the planet. If anything, the death of the cat is emblematic of the peril to the country’s quickly-vanishing wildlife as urbanization, poachers and other problems eat into not just the tigers’ habitat but create a wide range of problems for other species as well.

The spread of canine distemper disorder into the wild cat population is very bad news on its own. A deadly virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous system, it is often spread to wild cats and dholes – wild dogs — in Asia from the feces left behind from hunting dogs and domesticated dogs which wander into wildlife habitat. According to another report, two tigers were seen prowling around the village, with a pregnant woman claiming a big cat chased her for 300 meters while she was riding her motorbike. Apparently one of the two was caught, later dying of distemper. The other escaped. It is still being sought.

Baraboo tiger

Circus World tiger trainer Ryan Holder plans to introduce two new members of his family this weekend at his second annual after-hours fundraiser to help protect wild tigers.

Born in a United States zoo, two 8-month-old female tigers have joined the eight other cats in Holder’s ShowMe Tigers “family.”

They will make their public debut during “An Evening with Tigers” Saturday at Baraboo’s circus museum in celebration of Global Tiger Day. Tickets to the event are $50 apiece, with all of the proceeds donated to the International Elephant Foundation for its patrolling activities in Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra, Indonesia, Holder said.

Sniffer dogs on tiger day

In the lead up to Global Tiger Day on 29th July 2019, TRAFFIC has announced the winners of Canines for Felines, a special contest for wildlife sniffer dogs (popularly called Super Sniffers) trained under a TRAFFIC and WWF-India programme in India, working to curb poaching and illegal trade of tigers.

Nirman, a wildlife sniffer dog from the Tiger Strike Force in Satna was the overall winner of Canines for Felines while Myna, a wildlife sniffer dog from Tiger Strike Force in Indore was runner up. Both the dog squads belong to the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department.

Since his deployment, Nirman and his handlers Mr Raj Kishore Prajapati and Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, have helped in solving 35 wildlife cases, including six tiger-related cases leading to the arrest of several wildlife criminals along with recovery of poached tiger carcasses and seizure of tiger body parts. To become such an ace sniffer and tracker dog, Nirman along with his handlers underwent a rigorous nine-month training programme in 2016 at the National Training Centre for Dogs (NTCD), BSF Academy, Gwalior. 

Ramesh Pandey

The forest can be a dangerous place. Not only for the unfamiliar visitor but also for the vulnerable animals. In a tiger reserve as dense and vast as Dudhwa in Uttar Pradesh, the risk of illegal wildlife poaching is especially high.

Considering the complications of poaching and the high-risk jobs of forest officials, IFS officer Ramesh Pandey introduced a mobile application in his department to phenomenal results.

Within a year of its introduction, M-STrIPES, which stands for Monitoring System for Tigers-Intensive Protection and Ecological Status, has been instrumental in catching 200 poachers in a patrol field that covers 2,50,000 km!