Bangalore International Centre had arranged a Talk on “Where have all the Tigers gone?” by Dr. K. Ullas Karanth- Senior Conservation Scientist, Wildlife Conservation Society, Centre for Wildlife Studies, Bangalore, on Friday, 4th March, 2011 at 6:30 pm. The talk was moderated by Mr. Chiranjeev Singh.
In the last hundred and fifty years, the range of tigers have shrunk by 93%, as told by Dr. Karanth. For him, the primary driver of the decline is relentless poaching and clearing the habitat for agriculture.
Through PowerPoint presentation of pictures and slides, Dr. Karanth mentioned that although there is still about a million square kilometers of potential tiger habitat left, but much of it is empty of tigers because there is not enough food for them to successfully breed and survive. There is apparently a depletion of their chief prey like deer, wild pigs and wild cattle by local over-hunting, which is a widespread problem across Asia. As per the figure provided by him, a tiger needs to eat at least a cow every week. Tigers are an iconic species. They are extremely elusive and solitary.
Mr. Chiranjeev Singh added that the solution to the problem of tigers becoming extinct is of effective ground patrols by dedicated enforcement staff.
In the end both were of the view that general public too can help to save tigers by not just being interested and concerned, but by learning more, understanding issues and supporting the right solutions. They can contribute towards wildlife conservation by understanding the problems of wildlife conservation and their solutions in a site- specific context, based on the best knowledge available, rather than just getting emotionally committed and agitated.
The audience enjoyed the session thoroughly.