With the tiger population in India dwindling every year, tiger experts and wildlife conservationists have stressed on a public-private-partnership programme to conserve the big cats for generations hence.
“PPP models in tiger conservation are becoming increasingly necessary. Such discussions are not only going on at the PMO level, but some state governments too have been working to this end,” Nitin Desai of Wildlife Protection Society of India and an eminent wildlife conservationist, told HT.
Echoing similar sentiments, Belinda Wright, founder member of the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) said the Uttarakhand government has already taken an earnest stab at tiger conservation and has started discussions with a world-renowned security agency to beef up security in the state’s national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
The agency, said sources, has already worked wonders at some game reserves in South Africa.
Wright and Desai were speaking at a panel discussion on ‘The Safari’, a book authored by citybased social activist and wildlife enthusiast Sundeep Bhutoria.
The book is a charming narrative on wildlife and brings out hard facts, historical background and personal sightings of tigers in the Ranthambore National Park.
Bhutoria features among a long line of top celebrities to have adopted a tiger at Alipore Zoo.
Following the enthusiastic response to the idea of adopting zoo inmates, there have been suggestions of a similar scheme wherein corporate firms could adopt tigers, lions and other animals.
Many have proposed the idea of adopting zones in zoological parks.
Wright said that wildlife tourism could also become an excellent conservation tool.
“But the approach to promote it at the moment could at best be termed frenzied. A large scale high-end tourism in the Sunderbans would prove disastrous for the fragile ecosystem of the delta,” Wright said.
Desai said the WPSI has started a project- Secret Information Reward-in some states to organise an intelligence network for receiving tip-offs on wildlife crimes.
“As part of the project, we visit the villages along the fringes of the forests and tiger reserves and distribute cards with our phone numbers. The villagers then send us ground intelligence on wildlife crimes, which we relay to the concerned security agencies. Should a piece of intelligence help in the arrest of wildlife smugglers, the informer gets rewarded,” Desai said.