tiger as good as extinct:
Wildlife reserves not big enough to support cat, says researcher
who spent a year on search.
Breining, Chronicle Foreign Service
Francisco Chronicle, January 9, 2003
South China Tiger Reserve- By the time Ron Tilson reached
the highland core of this mountainous tiger reserve, he was bathed
in sweat and craving another Indonesian clove- flavored cigarette.
down from a serpentine ridge over stone bridges in inaccessible
areas where rivulets cascade down canyons and clouds hang on the
peaks, Tilson's experienced gaze locked on an animal feeding on
scrub. But it wasn't what he had come thousands of miles to see.
was a cow.
can't imagine there would be enough space here for tigers," he
said. "Besides, that damn cow would be dead."
Once there were 8, now there are only 5.
Tigers continue to suffer at the hands of humans and their governments.
Wild tiger population numbers have fallen by about 95% since the
turn of the last century, down from perhaps 100,000 to the present
estimates of just above 5,000.
In just the past fifty years, our planet has lost three subspecies
- the Bali, Javan and Caspian tigers to extinction.
Today, the South China tiger is on the verge of extinction and
the Bengal, Siberian, Sumatran and Indochinese tigers are racing
towards extinction at 90 miles per hour.
TigerAid's mission is dedicated to refocusing world attention
on saving the critically endangered tiger in the wild and the
conservation of their natural habitats.
TigerAid is helping to:
SUNDARBANS TIGER RESERVE
West Bengal, India
The Sundarbans is part of a vast estuary in the Bay of Bengal.
The mangrove forests are the only tiger habitat of its kind. The
trees and other wildlife have adapted to the estuarine conditions
of high salinity, lack of soil, erosion and daily overflow by
high tides. An estimated 270 tigers are found here.
WHY SAVE THE TIGER?
Tiger Conservation: The Bengal tiger of India
by Dr. K. Ullas Karanth
There are several sensible arguments which can be marshalled to
justify why we should save the tiger. For instance, the productivity
and welfare of our predominantly rural, agricultural society is
critically dependent on the regulation of run-off and soil erosion,
on recharge of ground water, and migration of local climatic fluctuations.
Forests, which clothe the watersheds of most of our important
river systems, play a dominant role in performing these functions,
besides harbouring the tiger. If wisely managed, some of the forested
landscapes can also provide our rural and urban populations the
fuel, timber, bamboo, rattan and a host of non-timber products,
needed for their sustenance.