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)
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid