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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid