Sunday, 29 July 2012

Indian tiger numbers down from 100,000 to 1,700 in a century


The number of India’s tigers has shrunk alarmingly in recent decades. A 2011 census counted only 1,700 tigers left in the wild, compared to 100,000 a century ago. Poaching and human-wildlife conflicts between tigers and people living in and on the periphery of tiger reserves are the biggest threat.

A landmark ruling, this month, by India’s Supreme Court has ordered a ban on tourism in "core zones" of more than 40 of the country’s central government-run tiger reserves.

The ruling seeks to protect the core zones of the tiger reserves, but tourists will still be able to visit buffer areas, up to a distance of 10km from the core areas. However, court fines of 10,000 rupees (£115) on states not complying with its earlier tiger protection directives seem unlikely to be a major deterrent.

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