TIGERS AND CATTLE

The Union Environment Ministry and the Department of Livestock and Animal Husbandry are exploring a scheme to devise an insurance policy that will compensate people who lose their livestock to tigers.

A day after India declared that it had 2,967 tigers — a 33% jump since the last tiger census in 2014 — officials from several Ministries met on Tuesday to discuss ways to ensure that these gains were not lost.

The growing tiger base, however, has also brought with it challenges of man-animal conflict, with reports of tigers preying on cattle and sometimes mauling humans who live in the vicinity of their habitat. “Currently, there is no policy on compensating people for such cattle lost because tiger reserves are no-go areas, and people and cattle are not supposed to be present. However, in the larger interest of reducing man-animal conflict, we need to think of such measures,” said Siddhantha Das, Director-General (Forests), Union Environment Mministry. He was one of the participants in the meeting.

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.