Chhattisgarh TIGER RESERVE

Original source, credits text and photograph

The Indian Express

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In the good news held out by the tiger census, one glaring black mark was Chhattisgarh, where the numbers have dropped to less than half — from 46 in 2014 to an estimated 19 in the 2018 audit. The state has three tiger reserves, Achanakmar, Udanti-Sitanadi and Indravati. While in the case of Indravati, officials can cite the reserve’s location — enumeration comes with challenges in Naxal-hit South Bastar’s Bijapur — for the low numbers, NTCA sources say the bigger reason is the lack of any core protected area in any of the three reserves, spread over 4,159 sq km.

Commentary

The Indian state of Chhattisgarh is a dark page in the recent tiger revival in India – with less than half of the tigers of the 2014 census.

Wild tiger

Original source, credits text and photograph

India – The Statesman

Top NTCA Official In Lalgarh To Probe Death Of Big Cat.

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A senior official of the National Tiger Conservative Authority (NTCA) paid a visit in the Bagghora forest under Lalgarh forest area in West Midnapore, today, to investigate the cause of the death of a Royal Bengal Tiger, which was found with multiple injury marks around 16 months ago on 13 April, 2018.

Mr W. Langva, IG of Eastern region, NTCA, reached Midnapore yesterday and convened a meeting with the forest officials to gather information about the causes of the unnatural death of the big cat. Today, he along with forest officials reached the site where the tiger was found dead and conducted a probe into this matter.

Commentary

Only after 16 months top officials of the Indian National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) start to probe the death of tiger.

Tiger problems Malaysia

Original source, credits text and photograph

Malay Mail

Malayan Perak State Parks Corporation: Only 23 tigers left in Royal Belum, Temenggor forest reserves.

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The Perak State Parks Corporation (PTNPk) estimates that there are only 23 tigers left in the Royal Belum and Temenggor forest reserves.

Its general manager Mohamed Shah Redza Hussein said the figure was about a 60 per cent drop from the over 60 tigers recorded in the two forest reserves seven years ago.

He said the biggest threat to the tiger population at the two habitats was poaching, believed to be done by foreigners especially from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and aided by locals.

“If we do not act now, we will have less than 10 (tigers). A population this low is not enough for breeding.

Commentary

One of the biggest protected forests in Malaysia show a decline of 60 percent in 7 years – to 23 tigers.

The responsible director points the finger to poaching – not to himself after 7 years of ignoring problems.

Census tiger

Large, solitary predators hate being seen. They owe their entire existence to being able to avoid detection by prey and sneak close before attacking.

Hence, when we want to count tigers, the tigers don’t help. But accurate population numbers are fundamental to good conservation. Every four years since 2006, the Indian government conducts a national census of tigers and other wildlife.

The efforts the project team undertakes to derive the tiger population estimate are nothing short of phenomenal: 44,000 field staff conducted almost 318,000 habitat surveys across 20 tiger-occupied states of India. Some 381,400 km² was checked for tigers and their prey.

IUCN Cambodia tigers

Six tigers will be brought into Cambodia from India and released into the Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary in Mondulkiri province in 2022, while wildlife protection organisations have urged all stakeholders to raise awareness of the importance of tiger conservation.

Provincial Department of Environment director Keo Sopheak told The Post on Monday that India had agreed to export six tigers and release them into the sanctuary to help restore the species to Cambodia.

According to Wildlife Alliance, the last record of a tiger in Cambodia was in November 2007 in Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary.

Sopheak said: “From 2022 to 2023, if we think that the amount of food available for tigers has sufficiently increased, we will implement the plan and release them here.

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.

Visakhapatnam tiger

Though there is rapid growth in the tiger population in the country since 2006, poaching activities are also increasing.

Poachers have killed about 230 tigers since 2012. There have been 63 tiger deaths this year, seven of them at the hands of poachers. Many cases are still under scrutiny. Trends show that there is a rapid growth in tiger population after the Centre constituted the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in 2006.

According to the statistics, the total tiger population in the country in 2006 was 1,411. This had increased to 1,706 in 2010. By 2014, the tiger population increased to 2,226.

However, poaching activities too have increased. The total number of tiger deaths from 2012 to date is about 720 of which 369 are natural deaths, 35 unnatural deaths that don’t relate to poaching. The unnatural deaths account to conflicts with other animals or accidents. Around 144 tigers were poached and 84 were captured.

Myanmar tige swimmingr

In 1903, a tigress prowling in the vicinity of Shwedagon Pagoda was shot and killed by a British soldier – an indication that there used to be plenty of tigers in Myanmar.

However, the country’s tiger population is decreasing and there are many difficulties in preserving the species.

The difficulty in preserving tigers is that there is an illegal wildlife market, shrinking habitat, and less food for tigers in the jungle,” said U Paing Soe, project manager of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

The tigers are protected under the Biodiversity and Conservation of Protected Areas Law in Myanmar. Those convicted of poaching, killing, hurting, collecting and trading tigers face three to 10 years in prison.

However, there is a thriving black market for tiger products in Asia, including Myanmar, according to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNOC).

Malayan Tiger Run

The Malayan Tiger Run 2019 today saw more than 4,000 participants roaring off in support of tiger conservation in Malaysia.

The 5km obstacle fun run, jointly organised by WWF-Malaysia and Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), was flagged off by Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar.

WWF-Malaysia executive director Sophia Lim said the overwhelming response reflected the support of Malaysians to protect the Malayan tiger.

“We also launched our Malayan tiger pledge today, and we hope the people will continue to stand behind us and support us.

Malayan tiger conservation

The Perak State Park Corporation issued a call for global support to mark World Tiger Day 2019 to save the critically endangered Malayan tiger.

Once estimated at 3,000 animals in Peninsular Malaysia, recent studies have shown an alarming drop in tiger populations. Even as the Perak state works with conservation groups to create larger habitats for tigers, the greatest threat to the Malayan tiger is poaching.

WWF Malaysia had previously warned that the “influx of foreign poachers into Malaysia’s forests is alarming.” This followed an earlier warning that a “quiet invasion by poaching syndicates from Indochina” is due to the disappearance of the wild tiger in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

The current population estimate of the Malayan tiger places their numbers at less than 200 animals in all of Peninsular Malaysia.

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.

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!

Perak tiger

The Perak state government has pledged its full cooperation in the race to save the diminishing Malayan Tiger population.

In expressing support for the Land, Water and Natural Resources Ministry’s initiative, Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu said he welcomed the plan to transform Gerik, the district where Royal Belum rainforest is located, into a “Tiger Town”.

“Poaching of wildlife, including the Malayan Tiger, has been a longstanding issue there as it (Royal Belum) covers such a vast area (290,000ha).

Tiger skins

Tiger in bed

Trapped tiger

Sumatran tiger

Law enforcement tigers

India's tigers

Dead Nilgiris forest tiger

Maharashtra tiger

Chimur tiger cub

Bukit Barisan tiger

Poachers OF TIGERS

Dead Malayan tiger

Earlier this year, we reported that our Malayan tigers could go extinct in five to 10 years as there are only 200 left in our country. This data was released in a statement by the Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar during a parliament sitting on 18th March 2019. He said that this situation can get a lot worse if we don’t take the necessary steps to curb the issue.

However, it looks like we have to get to work quickly because a conservationist shared that we may lose the tigers even sooner than we think. Dr Mark Rayan Darmaraj said that the species could go extinct within two to three years as the number of remaining Malayan tigers is too little. Oh no, that means the Malayan tigers could go extinct by 2022!

Malayan tiger population

Cuc Phuong National park

In June 2018, a Vietnamese court sentenced Hoang Tuan Hai to four-and-a-half years in prison—an outcome that took activists nearly four years to achieve. Hai’s crime was illegal wildlife trafficking—namely the taking of marine turtles. As part of the sting operation that brought Hai to justice, an estimated 7,000 individual turtles—mostly of the hawksbill species—were confiscated from warehouses used by Hai, his brother, and other associates.

Wildlife trafficking is one of the most pressing concerns facing Vietnam’s national park system, whose 30 parks contain mountainous and coastal landscapes and rich biodiversity. Yet the consequences of rampant poaching have been devastating for wildlife. In 2010, the last rhinoceros was killed in Cat Tien National Park, and many forests are virtually empty of wildlife and eerily silent. The national parks are often the only hope of protection for vulnerable species, and yet some of these parks are what observers call “paper parks”—parks in name only—without adequate law enforcement and conservation-minded management. This is in part because the park system is relatively young, and the country is still grappling with the pressures that come with globalization.

“There may not be a tiger left in Vietnam,” says Earl Possardt, marine turtle program officer for the International Division of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Elephants are a small population. Turtles have been hit hard. Everything is a diminished but there’s still a lot of habitat left.”