Environment ministry meets over rise in tiger deaths
Gargi Rawat, Wednesday April 15, 2009, New Delhi, India
The national animal is in peril. This year alone, over 20 tigers have died. Alarmed, the environment ministry has called an emergency meeting of wildlife wardens from tiger states. It will be held with wildlife wardens of tiger states in Dehradun on Wednesday.
Wildlife biologist Raghu Chundawat who raised the alarm about tigers disappearing from the Panna reserve in Madhya Pradesh calls it a crisis.
“This is how we started in 2003 and then went on to lose hundreds of tigers. This year already 20 to 30 tigers have been poached. It’s a serious crisis,” said Wildlife Biologist, Raghu Chundawat.
The centre is yet to investigate how the Panna tigers went missing. And the park authorities are trying to cover up the lapse by shifting more tigers to the reserve.
A year ago, the tiger census showed that only 1,400 big cats are left in the country. Since then their number has only shrunk.
It is hoped that the meeting called by the environment ministry will result in a plan of action to tackle the country’s tiger crisis. But what many fear is, is it a case of very little, very late?