Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Tiger Conservation : Space Constraint

Tiger - Uday Patel
Recently whence it was opinionated in a conservation meet that tiger population in India would be contained within a limit this was no fanciful or extreme critical conjecture. The speaker Dr. Rajesh Gopal is an eminent tiger conservationist and erstwhile field director of Kanha and Bandhavgarh tiger reserves. He now heads as Director of Project Tiger under NTCA.  While lot many aspects of tiger conservation are in the know, little attention is paid towards spacing mechanism of this critically endangered species.   

Complacency has crept in with the creation of protected areas and we are subject to myopia that all will be well now. Though the creation of protected areas known as the tiger reserves has proven as boon for conservation of this species and the biodiversity as whole, it has also placed us in complacency and restricted our vision beyond the core of these realms.

The upcoming census figures yet to be released may provide us with an elated announcement but the axe on species is nowhere off. Due to better census methodologies and logistics and of course stringent conservation practices in the core of many tiger reserves the population is estimated to go up and perhaps touch a figure of three thousand adults. In 1910 the figure stood at dismal 1400 plus and in the year 1914 it was above two thousand two hundred. But in spite of this success  many questions remain unanswered.  

It is difficult to state whence and at what level population the tiger would come out of being endangered since the survival factors are far more complex than we realize, and the big cat population will always be subjected to attitude of the contemporary Governments, and their policies vis a vis environment and conservation. 

The crux of the statement was that tiger population growth in India would be constrained severely due to limited space. The availability of space is a crucial factor in the spread of the species with an individual need of several square kilometres. The space constraint also limits transmigration of the species as it is wont to do by  nature. The space factor is also bound consequently with the availability of a healthy prey base.   

In short the space constraint would prove as severe impediment to tiger conservation in India. This is ironical since we have plenty of forests out of the purview of the tiger reserve where the animal can move in but they are in a dismal state.

The reserve forests as they are classified lack an adequate prey base as well as good forest cover. They do not comprise of an ecosystem in a perfect state of preservation and are subject to misuse. They are subject to wood logging, cattle grazing to extreme, and poaching. Well at many places wildlife has already been hunted down by the people. Overflow of wild animals from protected area does not receive much protection since some locals are wont to hunt. This has been seen even in the buffer regions of the tiger reserves where wild animals are subjected to electrocution, snaring and hunting. The biotic pressures are not welcoming by any means either.    

In this dispensation or rather consequent one's little attention was and is paid towards the endangered species whence the development imperative arises. Strips of forests, wide of range of habitats and the crucial water bodies are subject to pressure without a second thought. Hence from where and how will the accrual of space take place? 

Until unless more forests are subject to intense regeneration and protection the very idea of large population of big cats surviving in the country seems chimerical. The tiger requires a specialised habitat with a perfect ecosystem in place.

Thankfully such spaces already present have been and are being brought under  protection in this country and that is the saving grace. But the buck should not stop here. A more proactive and concerned approach is required to fetch the National animal out of the quandary it presently is in. This should start right from the doorsteps of the ruling dispensation along with the involvement of the administration and the bureaucracy and yes the civil society meaning us.     
Uday Works as a Naturalist at Kanha National Park.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Who Are the Perpetrators of Worst Injustice on Earth!

This article certainly does not extol the virtue of vegetarianism but at the same time does not criticize the personal food choice. I eat meat strictly whence slaughtered without pain. This article does not extol the preachings in Vedas which have since five thousand years back advocated preservation of life forms precious - through veneration. We consider cows as holy. But at the same time do we treat our cows well??? Leave them on streets hungry, derelict and become a cause of deadly accidents and yes of International Shame.    

This article speaks about other life forms! Have mercy on all life forms, including (vermins sic) that may not agonize you whence tortured or killed. I mean all. 

How some of us treat them!

NO question mark if you notice above. Some of us are merciless inhumans or life form of the worst kind. When threat perception arises, greed overcomes, sport instincts or just plain hate gives some of us extreme pleasure and revengeful feelings arise...some of us do the following:  

Kill, snare, maim, electrocute a tiger. Hang a leopard by the pole after thrashing it to death. Kill a deer and distribute meat. Tie a sloth bear and display. The state of rhesus macaque as the above image speaks. Kill a snake on sight. Thrash a dog. Kill a bird with slingshot! Shoot animals for pleasure and sport. Torture animals for sport in the name of culture. Crush elephants under the rails, kill them as raiders in their own land. Cage animals for pets, hang them dead on the wall as decor. Wear fur, make shoes and trophies of wild animals. Incarcerate a fish for life in a glass container.   

Snatch scant habitats of other lifeforms. Who are the usurpers? The land grabbers? After doing this some still affirm their belief in the almighty. Did the almighty create life to be treated this way! 

What exactly is sacrosanct? Only that which affects our sensitivities or goes against  the dogmas? 

Some of us even consume endangered wild animals and birds with scant regards to their status. Wood loggers, polluters of our precious water sources and those who dig deep into the mother earth for greed. Those who ravage forests - our lungs and grassland....the precious ecosystems.  

These are the vermins! Their acts will one day force us to explain to our gennext on respirator....that why we failed you.  

That some of us do not care about other life forms especially those who fail to agonize their sensitivity. It is obvious!      

All those who indulge in this callous merciless activities are creatures of the worst kind. No need to hide behind the veil of culture, ideology or other sensitivities for the perpetrators of inhuman deeds.  

The message is clear preserve all Earthly elements and life forms or perish!

What we can do? Prevent cruelty if possible! Speak or write against this cruelty!