Very Short Essay On Save Tigers

“It’s a sign saying, ‘I am here! I am here!’ ” says Ullas Karanth as he flails his arms and jumps up and down in a mock attention-grabbing wave.

He is referring to a scrape, a patch of jungle floor recently cleared by a tiger’s hind paws. It’s huge, the size of a cafeteria tray. Based on the freshness of the uprooted grass along the edges, Karanth figures a tiger passed here sometime last night. I kneel down and am hit by an overwhelming stench—the musky spray of a quarter-ton cat that has just marked its territory.

Signs of tigers are everywhere inside Nagarhole National Park in southwestern India. From our forest service lodge we hear the telltale alarm calls of deer in the middle of the night. On early morning drives Karanth, one of the world’s leading tiger biologists, points out paw prints the size of dinner plates. We pass trees with trunks that the cats have raked bare, signposts for rivals and potential mates.

Karanth has deep piercing eyes that can spot a deer a quarter of a mile away from inside a moving vehicle. He prefers, however, to drive with his head sticking out the window so he can read the tracks of every animal that has crossed the path beneath our wheels. Gleefully calling out each animal by name, he seems oblivious as the vehicle swerves alarmingly from side to side.

After days of searching through forests that harbor some of the highest concentrations of tigers in the world, we have yet to see one. Karanth tells me he spent 15 years looking before he saw his first wild tiger. Even when the cats are all around, he says, the odds of seeing one are slim.

A few days later, driving down a dirt lane in neighboring Bandipur National Park, we come across a jeep operated by a local tour company. Bandipur has fewer tigers than Nagarhole, but its dry, open forests make for easier wildlife viewing. The jeep has stopped and its passengers are staring intently. As Karanth pulls up behind them I see stripes of orange, black and white. “Tiger!” I yelp.

One of nature’s most perfect killing machines dozes in the afternoon heat. We watch the cat sleep as other jeeps crowd around us like a pack of dholes, the wild dogs that hunt inside the park. People gasp and point, then click their cameras from the safety of their vehicles. Slowly, the tiger opens one eye, and with a casual glance in our direction, locks me in a gaze so powerful that all else disappears. After licking its paws and stretching its back, the cat rises to its feet. Then the tiger turns its head and walks deeper into the forest until it disappears.

From the boreal forests of the Russian Far East to the jungles of Sumatra, tiger populations are in free-fall. In the past century, their numbers have plunged from an estimated 100,000 to fewer than 3,500.

This small pocket of southwestern India is one of the few places where the tiger popula- tion has reversed the trend and is now strong. Biologists and government officials from all over the world are visiting Nagarhole to learn from Karanth; he gives them hope that they can save their own tigers and other big cats.

Karanth, 63, grew up less than 100 miles from here and first visited Nagarhole (also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park) in 1967 as a teenager. Hunting and logging were rampant in the park at the time. Seeing even a chital, the small spotted deer now found in droves throughout the park, was rare. “I was pretty sure I would never see a tiger by the time I grew up,” he says.

Karanth went on to study mechanical engineering and then bought a plot of land to farm near Nagarhole so he could be an amateur naturalist in his spare time. In 1984, he entered a wildlife management training program at what is now the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. Karanth earned a PhD from Mangalore University studying tigers inside Nagarhole. He now works for the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), combining the cool objectivity of an engineer with the passion of a local boy who never tired of looking for tigers. Since he began monitoring the population in 1990, tiger numbers in Nagarhole have climbed from fewer than 10 individuals to more than 50. More important, the park is a source of young tigers: Cubs born here are leaving the park and repopulating the surrounding forests. “There are now 250 tigers in this region,” Karanth says. “If we do everything right, we can have 500.”

“You have to be able to measure tiger populations with confidence, and Karanth has developed the whole tool kit to do this,” says John Seidensticker, head of the Smithsonian’s Conservation Ecology Center and one of Karanth’s early mentors.

Each year after the summer monsoons, Karanth and his team blanket the forest with hundreds of camera traps. When an animal walks past a trap, infrared sensors trigger cameras on both sides of the trail. Every tiger has a unique stripe pattern, which Karanth uses to identify individuals and estimate how many tigers live in Nagarhole at any time. He has collected more than 5,000 tiger photographs.

He has found that one out of four adult tigers in the park dies or disperses into the surrounding forest each year. In the past four years, he says, he documented 40 deaths in the area that includes Nagarhole, Ban­dipur and several other reserves. But he’s not worried. “If reproduction is up,” he says, “this is not a problem.”

What affects tiger reproduction? The answer might seem simple, but it took Karanth nearly ten years to collect the data to confirm a direct relationship: The more animals available for tigers to eat, the more they reproduce. “The forests were empty not because the tiger had been hunted out, but because their prey had been,” Karanth explains.

The realization has significant implications for how to protect tigers. Many conservation authorities focus on stopping big-game poachers, who kill tigers and sell the body parts for high prices on the black market. (Tiger bone, for instance, is promoted as a cure for arthritis and malaria.) But Karanth’s findings suggest that local villagers who hunt deer and other animals have had a larger impact than wildlife traffickers on tiger numbers. Now 120 men, armed with little more than sticks, patrol Nagarhole looking for illegal snare traps.

Early one morning, Karanth and I left the safety of a WCS work jeep and stepped into an environment where humans aren’t at the top of the food chain. A splotch of red paint on a tree marked the start of a two-mile trail we would follow through the forest looking for wildlife. Even the smallest noise or movement sent me jumping.

Karanth scouted straight ahead while WCS technician M.N. Santosh followed a few paces behind, looking for movement on either side. The biologists are armed with nothing more than a clipboard, a compass and a range finder (a glorified laser pointer for determining how far away something is). Based on the number of animals they find and their distance from the path, the biologists can estimate prey densities.

I struggle to keep up, trying not to snap any branches beneath my feet. My effort to tread lightly is partly so I don’t scare off any animals and skew their survey results. It’s also self-preservation. Nagarhole is home to one of the highest concentrations of forest-dwelling Asian elephants. The giant pachyderms have poor eyesight, are easily spooked and can charge through the forest faster than any human can run. Roughly 30 people die each year in the region as a result of elephant tramplings. Tigers, in comparison, have killed two or three here in the past 45 years.

Ten minutes into our hike, I step ankle-deep in dung so large it could come from only one animal. Something large crashes through the brush a short distance away. “Elephant!” Karanth whispers with a glint in his eyes that seems more mischievous than worried.

Then a second elephant trumpets an alarm call and the slight smile on Karanth’s face vanishes. He comes closer and whispers in my ear, “We’ll be fine, but if anything happens, scatter and follow the line back to the jeep. This is the backup plan.”

We pause for a moment that seems like an eternity, then quicken our pace down the trail. We make it through the forest unscathed but see a potential tiger buffet, including six chital deer, a dozen monkeys and three gaur, the largest wild cattle on earth.

Over the next few months, Karanth, Santosh, other WCS staff and a rotating cast of 150 volunteers will hike more than 3,000 miles through the forest counting prey. Karanth estimates that prey animals currently represent 20,900 pounds of food per square mile, a smorgasbord for the park’s tigers, leopards and wild dogs.

The animal abundance hasn’t come from anti-poaching patrols alone. Strict wildlife-protection laws forbid hunting, logging and the sale of forest products. And since the 1990s, the government has offered a voluntary relocation program to tribal groups living in the park. People willing to move are given a house, a hectare of land and access to health care facilities and schools that aren’t available within the park.

“Relocations have to be voluntary, they have to be incentive-driven, and there has to be no element of force,” Karanth says. “If they are done badly, they give a bad name to conservation and no one is happy. But if they are done well, it’s a win-win situation for people and wildlife.”

In addition to his groundbreaking fieldwork, Karanth has spent countless hours fighting legal battles to protect tiger habitat from encroaching development. “To me the real issue is this landscape with roughly ten million people and a sustained economic growth rate of 10 percent; if you can protect tigers with all of that, that augurs well for the species’ future.”

Karanth’s success has attracted widespread interest. In 2006, Panthera, a conservation organization dedicated to protecting wild cats, teamed up with WCS to implement Karanth’s conservation practices at several other sites in Asia. The project, known as Tigers Forever, is modeled on the intensive monitoring and rigorous anti-poaching patrols in Nagarhole.

The goal for each site is to increase the cat’s population by 50 percent by 2016. Sites in Thailand are beginning to show promising results, and programs in Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos and Myanmar are getting underway. India is moving toward adopting Karanth’s intensive monitoring approach in tiger reserves nationwide. (This year Karanth won the Padma Shri, a prestigious award presented by the president of India.)

In the forests of southwestern India, the tiger’s future looks promising. Rounding a corner on a drive through Nagarhole, we come across two gaur bulls squaring off in the middle of the road. The animals stand with legs firmly planted, ruddy-brown mountains snorting in the late afternoon sun.

The younger of the two bulls tries to assert his dominance by showing off a large shoulder hump that towers over the older male. On rare occasion, gaur bulls will lock horns in fierce territorial battles, a scene depicted on every can of the popular energy drink Red Bull. For the moment, the hulking creatures circle and strut.

A short distance ahead, a herd of 50 chital feed in a clearing where a human settlement once stood. Looking out on the deer—a year’s food supply for an adult tiger—Karanth can’t help but smile. “When I was young there was no hope,” he says. “Today there is a lot of hope.”

Phil McKenna wrote about Tibetan buntings in the October 2011 issue. Wildlife photographer Kalyan Varma is based in Bangalore.

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Over the past century the number of tigers in India has fallen from about 40,000 to less than 4,000 (and possibly as few as 1,500). Relentless poaching and clearing of habitat for agriculture have been the primary drivers of this decline, though demand for tiger skins and parts for "medicinal" purposes has become an increasingly important threat in recent years.
However the news is not all bad. Research published last year showed that if protected and given sufficient access to abundant prey, tiger populations can quickly stabilize. With India's large network of protected areas and continued funding from conservation groups like the Wildlife Conservation Society, the findings provide hope that tigers can avoid extinction in the wild.
The biggest threat to tigers in India is depletion of their chief prey like deer, wild pigs and wild cattle by local people. As a result although about 300,000 square kilometers of tiger habitat still remains, much of it is empty of tigers because there is not enough food for them to survive and breed successfully.

One important thing that you can do is learn as much about tigers as you can, and teach others about the threats they face. You can do reports at school, or just talk to your friends and family. As people learn more about tigers, they will try harder to protect them.

Another thing that you can do is raise money for a tiger conservation organization – on your own, or as a school or scout-group project. Although most of us cannot go out and protect wild tigers ourselves, we can support some of the organizations and researchers who are working to save tigers. Save The Tiger Fund helps the world's best tiger conservationists to work throughout the world.
For one thing, don`t buy tiger products like tiger fur or teeth because people kill tigers to sell these products. Also, help protect the envirorment, because if we don`t stop hurting the environment, the only tigers left in the world would be in captivity. By not cutting trees of the forests and when we see people cutting trees we should stop them

The tiger is not just a charismatic species. It’s not just a wild animal living in some forest either. The tiger is a unique animal which plays a pivotal role in the health and diversity of an ecosystem. It is a top predator and is at the apex of the food chain and keeps the population of wild ungulates in check, thereby maintaining the balance between prey herbivores and the vegetation upon which they feed. Therefore the presence of tigers in the forest is an indicator of the well being of the ecosystem. The extinction of this top predator is an indication that its ecosystem is not sufficiently protected, and neither would it exist for long thereafter.

If the tigers go extinct, the entire system would collapse. For e.g. when the Dodos went extinct in Mauritius, one species of Acacia tree stopped regenerating completely. So when a species goes extinct, it leaves behind a scar, which affects the entire ecosystem. Another reason why we need to save the tiger is that our forests are water catchment areas.

When we protect one tiger, we protect about a 100 sq. km of area and thus save other species living in its habitat. Therefore, it’s not just about saving a beautiful animal. It is about making sure that we live a little longer as the forests are known to provide ecological services like clean air, water, pollination, temperature regulation etc. This way, our planet can still be home to our children.


1.)Spread the word: Go out loud and tell others that tigers are dying and that they need our help. You can form forums (or join existing ones) on the web for discussions and exchange views on tiger conservation. Reach school going children. WWF can help you in this regard.

2.)Be a responsible tourist: The wilderness is to be experienced and not to be disturbed and polluted. Follow the forest department guidelines when visiting any wilderness area, tiger reserve in particular. As the saying goes ‘Don’t leave thing anything behind except foot steps, and don’t take anything except memories.’
Write to the policy makers: If you are really concerned and feel that more needs to be done for tiger conservation, then write polite letters to the decision makers - the Prime Minister, the Minister for Environment and Forests or even your local MP.


3.)Informing the nearest police station: If you know of any information on poaching or trade of illegal wildlife. You can also contact TRAFFIC- an organisation fighting the powerful poachers and pass on the information to them.

4.)Reducing pressure on natural resources:
By reducing the use of products derived from forests, such as timber and paper.

5.)Encouraging Students:the best way is to create more opportunities in the real world for trained conservationists and conservation scientists. At present, both in the Government and the non-governmental sectors, the conservation field filled with people who are professionally untrained and are as a result offering and implementing "seat of the pants" solutions, many of which don't work. Secondly, conservationists must learn to independently function as small NGO groups without looking for government doles and jobs.

6.)Institutions and people Scientists who were closely involved in managing tigers at the local level, Hemendra Panwar of India and Hemanta Mishra of Nepal, pointed out an important lesson more than a decade ago: unless local community needs are met, conservation of the tiger will not succeed and protected areas will perish. Therefore, conservation programmes

7.) Must reconcile the interests of people and tigers. In most situations, a sustainable tiger conservation strategy cannot be achieved without the full participation and collective action of individual rural households whose livelihoods depend on rights of access and use of the forests where tigers live.

8.) Technologies for conservation of resources There already exists a wide range of technologies and practices in forest and watershed management and agriculture, both traditional and new, for conservation of resources. The biological processes that regenerate forests and make agriculture less damaging to tiger habitats take time to become established

9.)Use of external institutions Institutions, such as NGOs, government departments, and banks, can facilitate processes by which local people develop their sense of ownership and commitment. When little effort is made to build local skills, interest, and capacity, people have no interest or stake in maintaining structures or practices once the incentives for conservation stop. Success hinges on people’s participation in planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation, which leads to the formation of new institutions or the strengthening of existing ones

10.)Conservation of tiger habitat and of prey In many areas peripheral to tiger habitat, grazing lands for livestock have been converted to crops or degraded by excessive use; livestock is of poor quality and of poor productivity; wood for fuel and building has been exhausted; and sources of income are limited. The rehabilitation of the natural resource base of local people is essential if they are not to seek their requirements in protected areas. This requires ecodevelopment with the support and cooperation of specialized government organs and the non-governmental conservation community.

11.) Educate the locals
People living near the forests need to be educated about the importance of tigers in terms of ecosystem. They need to be told that if there will be no tigers there will be no forests as all the grass eaters will devour the forests.


12.) Stop poaching and don't encourage poachers
Sale of tiger skin and other body parts is banned. So if you find somebody hunting tigers, report them to your local police station or even the forest officials. They will take care of the poachers.


13.) Severe punishment for poachers
Ensure that the poachers are not allowed to go easily. Make sure that they receive severe punishment for their crime.


14.) Ban the goods made of tiger skin
Please do not use goods made of tiger skin. Also please don't use the medicine made out of tiger's body parts. On an average one wild tiger is killed each day for profit killing.


15.) Protect forests
In order to save tigers forests need to be protected. Apparently the species are becoming extinct because of the loss of their natural habitat.


16.)  Donate money to tiger conservation organisations
You can also donate some amount to tiger conservation organisations who are constantly striving to fund money for their research as well as educational programmes on tigers.
These are few of the ways that you can save the tigers from becoming extinct. There were eight species of tigers on the planet earth. However, three of them are already extinct save the rest five. The three species that are extinct now are Bali tigers, Javan tigers and Caspian tigers.

Local institutions and people Scientists who were closely involved in managing tigers at the local level, Hemendra Panwar of India and Hemanta Mishra of Nepal, pointed out an important lesson more than a decade ago: unless local community needs are met, conservation of the tiger will not succeed and protected areas will perish. Therefore, conservation programmes must reconcile the interests of people and tigers. In most situations, a sustainable tiger conservation strategy cannot be achieved without the full participation and collective action of individual rural households whose livelihoods depend on rights of access and use of the forests where tigers live.

- Technologies for conservation of resources There already exists a wide range of technologies and practices in forest and watershed management and agriculture, both traditional and new, for conservation of resources. The biological processes that regenerate forests and make agriculture less damaging to tiger habitats take time to become established

- Use of external institutions Institutions, such as NGOs, government departments, and banks, can facilitate processes by which local people develop their sense of ownership and commitment. When little effort is made to build local skills, interest, and capacity, people have no interest or stake in maintaining structures or practices once the incentives for conservation stop. Success hinges on people’s participation in planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation, which leads to the formation of new institutions or the strengthening of existing ones

- Conservation of tiger habitat and of prey In many areas peripheral to tiger habitat, grazing lands for livestock have been converted to crops or degraded by excessive use; livestock is of poor quality and of poor productivity; wood for fuel and building has been exhausted; and sources of income are limited. The rehabilitation of the natural resource base of local people is essential if they are not to seek their requirements in protected areas. This requires ecodevelopment with the support and cooperation of specialized government organs and the non-governmental conservation community.





Aircel Launches Social Campaign 'Save Our Tigers'

AIRCEL, India’s 5th largest GSM mobile service provider initiated the campaign towards a social cause in association with WWF-India to help save our tigers. Aircel “Save Our Tiger” is the latest campaign where it intends to draw attention towards dwindling numbers of tigers across the planet and bring forward the seriousness of losing tigers from our planet.
Even companies like Aircel ,IBM,Nokia and many more are working to save tigers...than why cant we???


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