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Saving the tiger

 

 

Mint, New Delhi, 11th March, 2013
 
 

Protecting India’s wildlife has always been a daunting task. The poachers are always smarter, and our forest bureaucracy a step behind. In spite of huge sums of money and other resources being sunk into wildlife protection and conservation, killing of endangered species such as the tiger remains such as the tiger remains as viable as ever. A joint report by wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC and the WWF Tigers Alive Initiative suggests poachng remains rampant and there are trading “hot spots" near major tiger reserve.

Grotesque as it may seem, there are simpler solutions to save the majestic beast. If the demand for tiger parts cannot be quelled largely from East Asia than it is time to augment "non-wildlife" sources of these animals. Captive breeding programmes, ideally located in countries where these parts are in high demand, are one way out. to be sure, there are near-insurmountable legal and other barriers. But perhaps the time has come to explore them if the tiger is to be saved in its pristine domain.