A new Greenpeace India campaign is gearing up to take on the Indian coal industry, coal ministry and even the Prime Minister. The environmental action group is determined to create awareness about how coal mining in Central India destroys forests, forest dependent communities, endangered tigers and other wildlife.

The recent ban by the Supreme Court on tourism in core areas of tiger reserves in India raises some fundamental questions:

1. Is tourism, however intense, the real culprit behind the killings of tigers and their seemingly low breeding capacity?
2. If after four decades of implementing the Wildlife (Protection) Act, and efforts by Project Tiger and the National Tiger Conservation Authority, tigers are near extinction today, can banning reserve tourism reverse the situation?
3. Can people be denied the right to visit national parks to watch the most admired animal in the world?

Maharashtra’s tigers are under unprecedented threat from poachers this year.

NEW DELHI, 24 JUNE: Despite nationwide movements and campaigns to save tigers, 48 tigers have been reported dead in the first six months of this year and 19 cases have been clearly stated as cases

At a time when the tiger population is fast dwindling, India has reported an alarming increase in tiger deaths.

India’s tiger fatalities are rising steadily. The country has lost 48 tigers in the last 22 weeks. The largest number of tigers have been killed in the premier Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand and in the Tadoba Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has confirmed that 19 of these deaths are clear-cut cases of poaching but wildlife experts claim poaching deaths could be much higher.

Before forest officers start explaining tiger deaths as suicides, a timely NTCA move comes as a big push for transparency

Taking a stern stand against poachers, Maharashtra Government on Tuesday decided that action taken by forest authorities against those caught while hunting down tigers will not be considered a crime.

Talking to reporters here, Forest Minister Patangrao Kadam said if the forest officials fire upon the poachers injuring or killing them, the action will not be considered a crime

Project Tiger is not the great success story that the government would have you believe. India has lost 32 tigers in the last four months with two tigers having being killed last month in Tadoba Tiger Reserve by poachers using iron foot-traps.

Fourteen of these tigers have been lost to poachers till May 2012, minister for environment and forests Jayanthi Natarajan told reporters on the sidelines of the first stocktaking meeting to review the implementation of the Global Tiger Recovery Programme. “The remaining 18 tigers died natural deaths and we are constantly looking into reasons for this,” the minister said.

The tigers of the Tadoba reserve in Vidarbha region, have new owners.