Saving the Stripes- When a live tiger becomes more valuable than its carcass!
Tiger conservation in Kerala needs much more concerted efforts and a strong will to make sure that the national animal of India roar again in the jungles! It can happen only when a live tiger becomes far more precious than its carcass. It goes without saying that a massive project of this dimension can succeed only with the participation of the wild life department , NGOs, the forest staff, villagers and the tribals. Monetary benefit and tiger protection can be linked together to make it a lucrative affair for the landless tribals, who depend on the forests for their livelihood. The general public should be educated about the long term benefits of tiger conservation including better tourism prospects and employment scope.
The forest staff should be provided with better security gadgets and the latest weapons to deal with the poachers. Harsh punishments and hefty fines should be imposed on those who dare to kill wild animals so that it could prove a deterrent to the others. Bonus and pension plans of forest staff could be made relational to the improved tiger population during their tenure.
The tribal families who live along the periphery of the periyar tiger reserves should be provided jobs , housing and free education facilities to sustain their interest in tiger conservation and to make it financially viable for them . Preserving the bio diversity is the simplest and the most natural means to increase the tiger population and to minimise the man – animal conflicts. Probably the most important reason of all would be that our commitment to ensure our children and grand children the thrilling experience of beholding this wonderful animals in the wild! The count down has started and being an Indian, everyone of us should make sure that the body parts of our national animal never change hands again to be put up for sale in the road side markets of China and Vietnam!