Shrinking green cover escalating tiger-human conflict
Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Updated: Jul 29, 2014 02:21 IST
More tigers in India are being forced out into human habitation because rising mining activity is reducing their habitat, leading to a spike in deadly man-animal conflict.
Experts said that as tigers are being forced to remain in confines of protected areas, conflicts among the big cats are increasing. This has led to the "weaker" tigers moving out to human areas, resulting in increasing man-animal conflict.
A member of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) confirmed that "the environment ministry has allowed mining in many of these green corridors despite reservations expressed by the NTCA".
The NTCA member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also claimed that the Forest Advisory Committee – the statutory body to allow diversion of forest land -- formed its own committees to "over-rule the NTCA view".
Ulhas Karanth, director of highly-respected Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said,"tigers are coming in conflict with humans in areas which were their traditional routes to move from one green landscape to another."
Over 20 people were killed in different parts of India in the past one year by tiger which were pushed out of forest areas by stronger tigers.
A tiger marks its territory of approximately 10 sq km and move out only when defeated by a stronger feline.
The last one year has seen a man-eating tigress emerging in the buffer zone of Corbett National Park and spreading terror in Uttarakhand and neighbouring Morababad district of Uttar Pradesh killing nine persons.
A tiger in Philibhit also entered a village killing a man.
Maharashtra saw a tiger killing a villager near the Tadoba Andhari tiger reserve. Ranthambore in Rajasthan had also been in news for human-animal conflict.
Experts say that tigers don't hunt humans unless provoked or for self-protection.
As many as 80 tigers died in the country last year due to various reasons, while 41 have died so far this year.
Many of the affected tiger corridors in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh now have human habitations which interfere in free movement of tigers.
The last State of Indian Forest Report of 2013 show a decline in forest cover in wildlife corridors across India compared with previous reports.
An officer said that forests inside tiger reserves may have improved but they have gone down outside due to grazing and encroachments.
A global report released on the eve of World Tiger Day on July 29 says that if the present pace of extinction of tigers continues, the species will become extinct in the next five years.