News / Asia

Indian Authorities Relocate Village to Protect Tigers

Raja, an eight-year-old rescued Royal Bengal Tiger, rests inside South Kahayar Bari tiger rescue center at Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, about 160 km (99 miles) north of the eastern city of Siliguri, India, February 2010. (file photo)
Raja, an eight-year-old rescued Royal Bengal Tiger, rests inside South Kahayar Bari tiger rescue center at Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, about 160 km (99 miles) north of the eastern city of Siliguri, India, February 2010. (file photo)
Anjana Pasricha

In the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, authorities have relocated a village in the heart of a tiger reserve to protect the habitat of the tiger. It's the latest move aimed at protecting the big cat, which is fighting for survival.

The last of the 82 families in Umri village in the Sariska tiger sanctuary left their homes during the past week. They were given land or cash up to about $19,000.

Rajasthan state’s chief wildlife warden, A.C. Chaubey, said the relocation was no easy task.

“It requires persuasion. It requires convincing the people of the advantage they will get when they move out, and convincing the entire village at the same time is never an easy task,” said Chaubey.

The relocation of Umri village is part of attempts to revive the big cat in Sariska - where, in 2005, authorities and conservationists were dismayed to find that not a single tiger was left in the reserve. As alarm bells rang, authorities renewed efforts to save the dwindling species.

The tiger faces twin threats: poaching, and a shrinking habitat due to the presence of numerous villages inside and on the peripheries of wildlife sanctuaries across India.   

Sariska, for example, has about 11 villages inside the core area of the sanctuary. They are made up of mostly pastoral tribes who have lived inside the jungle for centuries.

Belinda Wright of the Wildlife Protection Society of India says these poor villagers depend on the jungle for survival, which brings them into conflict with tigers.

“They need to collect firewood, and they also have a huge number of animals which need to graze - buffaloes, cows and goats. The tigers killed the domestic animals, and therefore it becomes a conflict issue, and they also destroy the habitat for the prey species of the tiger,” said Wright.

Umri is one of more than two dozen villages located inside or near Sariska that will be moved out. Similar efforts to relocate villages have begun in some other Indian sanctuaries, but the process is slow.  

Despite the challenges, wildlife warden Chaubey said the benefits to the big cat are immense.  

“It provides for the tiger unhindered, undisturbed area for movement.”

Efforts to protect the tiger’s habitat and save the animals from poaching appear to be paying off. A census last year showed the number of tigers in India has risen to 1,700, compared to 1,400 five years ago.

That has made conservationists like Wright more optimistic.

“There is still a fighting chance for tigers in India, that is for sure,” she said.

India is home to 50 percent of the world's tiger population. Experts say the survival of the big cat there will determine the future of the species.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid