THE VAN­ISH­ING TIGER TRAIL

The Asian Age - - Special -

In 2005, wildlife lovers were shocked when poach­ers had wiped out the en­tire tiger pop­u­la­tion at the re­serve The se­ri­ous­ness of the is­sue could be gauged from the fact that then Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh held a two- day meet­ing of for­est of­fi­cials and ex­perts in Ran­thamb­hore to dis­cuss ways to pro­tect wildlife, es­pe­cially tigers A task force was set up, which sub­mit­ted its rec­om­men­da­tions to the Cen­tre. The Ra­jasthan gov­ern­ment too con­sti­tuted a task force, which also sub­mit­ted a re­port. On ex­perts’ rec­om­men­da­tion, an ini­tia­tive to shift tigers in Sariska from Ran­thamb­hore was taken up. Eight tigers were translo­cated be­tween 2008 and 2012, of whom one was poi­soned in 2010. It was enough to ring alarm bells, but no les­sons seems to have been learnt. The guards at the re­serve still lack ba­sic firearms and rely on ba­tons to take on poach­ers and vil­lagers In the ab­sence of proper elec­tronic sur­veil­lance, the of­fi­cials have to rely on the age- old meth­ods of track­ing tigers with the help of their pug­marks.

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