The long story of missing tigers from Ranthambore...
NP is ecologically a small area to accommodate large number of tigers. At 41 adult tigers (2014 census), scientists believe, the RNP tiger population has reached saturation point and has been so for the past few years. “Every year 5-7 cubs are born while 1-2 tigers die naturally. This means, 4-5 tigers are surplus every year who would be pushed out of the park,” said Sadhu.
While tiger protection is considered quite effective inside the RNP, the forest in the corridors and in the buffer zone is too fragmented to support a breeding tiger population, said Sunny Shah, team leader at the WWF office in Sawai Madhopur. “Due to poor connectivity with the next protected area, a lot of tigers who move out might be living in compromised habitat where they become easy targets for poachers. There are several settlements of poachers along the northern corridor towards Madhya Pradesh. Also, if tigers don’t find prey they kill livestock. The villagers then might kill the tiger in retaliation,” he added.
Residents of the villages Bodal and Gopalpura at the periphery of the park told HT that gun shots can be heard at night from nearby forests. “While most of the hunting is done by locals for subsistence, one or two tigers might be decimated every year by larger poaching networks. The forest guards here are not equipped to deal with poachers. They don’t have the will power. With several surplus tigers dispersing out of the park and being not sighted for months, hiding one or two cases of poaching becomes easy for everybody,” says the former poacher quoted earlier in the story.
Edited by jeremie, 29 May 2016 - 01:35 AM.