Friday, 10 August 2012

British charity backs tiger tourism ban

Tiger tourism restrictions in India should be welcomed - According to Care for the Wild
August 2012. Care for the Wild International (CWI) has joined other wildlife protection and conservation groups in welcoming moves by the Indian Government to place restrictions on tourists gaining access to certain zones in India's forty tiger reserves. 

In a landmark ruling the Indian Supreme Court ruled that tourists should be restricted from critical tiger habitats in all the National tiger reserves. Tourists will continue to be able to gain access to buffer zones on the edge of tiger habitats, but these will be around six miles from the key protection zones. 

According to CWI - A century ago the tiger population of India exceeded 100,000 but today there are estimated to be less that 1700 remaining in the wild. A combination of poaching, human wildlife conflict, habitat destruction and the negative impact of tourism in the tiger reserves have all contributed to this huge collapse in numbers.

Responding to the Indian Supreme Court Ruling the Chief Executive of Care for the Wild Philip Mansbridge said: "We welcome the planned restrictions on tiger tourism in India. For too long tigers have been a key driver for tourism but little consideration has been given to the negative impact that large numbers of people and vehicles can have on tigers and their habitats, such as the death of a tigress and her two cubs following a collision with a tour vehicle in one of the tiger reserves earlier this year.
Tourism can play a valuable role in promoting tiger conservation but as we have been promoting as part of our campaign, it does need to be strictly controlled, and the welfare and protection of tigers must be the first priority for the Indian Government."

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