2010 is the Year of the Tiger as per the Chinese calendar and as you rightly guessed, this blog is the result of the recent Aircel-WWF ad campaign for the Save our Tiger initiative.
So I am doing my bit now to help out those stripped majestic creatures whom we call with pride as our National Animal - the Tiger
My fascination for tigers started by reading shikar books by Jim Corbett and Kenneth Anderson...the jungles and incidents they described in such vivid detail created a visual effect akin to seeing Avatar on screen in 3D ;-) ...
So this post is also a dedication to one of the first Tiger conservationist in India : Jim Corbett (in pic with the leopard of Rudraprayag which killed 125 plus people till it was slain by Jim Corbett )
Lot of people are spreading the message to 'Save Tiger' via social networking sites and twits and I was doing the same but then it felt like I was shifting the actual responsibility of saving the tigers onto others. Now spreading the news of this danger of losing the tigers is a good thing but I wanted to do more and checking the various sites gave the impression that many people do want to help but dont know how to help , other than spread the word for now.
We all know that the presence of a tiger shows the health of the jungle, ie a single healthy tiger validates the presence of around 100 sq.km of healthy jungle environment (which in turn ensures the survival of countless flora and fauna in the same area) . So instead of telling people to save the trees, the undisturbed grasslands in the forests, the pristine mountains or to tell them not to kill deer,wild boar,wild buffaloes etc, its simple to tell in one single line : Save the Tiger !
Direct threats to Tigers :
1. Disappearance of forest area and human killing of the tiger's prey :
The biggest threat to tigers is the disappearance of prey which has resulted in the existence 300,000 sq.kms of tiger habitat which hardly has any tigers as there is not enough prey for the tigers to survive and breed successfully .
2. Direct poaching.
3. Getting killed in conflicts with humans when tigers accidentally enter human settlements which exist very close to the reserve forests.
People can Vote while Tigers cant !!!
So any effort done to save tigers should directly address the 3 points above and according to me , the best step is to help the people living next to tigers. (See video below)
I had attended a workshop by Kids for Tigers , as this initiative was being sponsored by my company, and the organizers thought the company staff should also know about saving tigers.
During the session, we were told that the main aim was to bring in the love for the tiger in the kids because even if one of them reaches a high (political) position, then the tigers will get saved. After all, all the tiger reserves in India got created because Indira Gandhi loved tigers !
But its too big a risk to wait for the kids to grow up with the love for tigers intact in them :-)
So what can we do ???
1. Go green : http://www.wwfindia.org/help/greenliving_tips/
2. Save greenery anywhere you see it.
We are not concerned about a woodland being cleared or a small hill being flattened if it happens 50 kms away until the same thing causes the water level to fall in our own backyard.
Already most of the cities have outsourced the food and water supplies to others, so just imagine what will happen if the goods carries and tanker lorries start coming back empty handed...
As we become more and more independent on our food,water and livelihood requirements, the less will our eyes stray towards the forests...
3. Get involved with NGOs :
Organizations which work for the welfare of the people who directly protect tigers (forest rangers) and for the welfare of the people living near forest areas.
Because even if we all urban people show our love for tigers online, it wont matter if these key people don't have anything to gain by protecting tigers !
NGOs help in collecting news from various sources and spreading awareness so that you and me can try to pitch in, which will only happen when we know about some issue...
4. Read more on how to help the Tiger by googling and visiting sites like
5. Last but not the least, Spread the word by sharing links via twits and other social networking sites, forwarding emails to friends, bringing up this topic when chatting offline.
So lets come out and do our bit so that the Tiger continues to roar in our jungles for ages to come...
Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry? - William Blake(1757–1827)