There have been hundreds of statements made about the future of the tiger over the last few years in India and around the world. Millions of dollars have been spent on conferences, expert meetings and the bureaucracies that support them. Presidents, Prime Ministers and politicians in many parts of the world have pledged support for tiger conservation and called for a reversal in the decline of tiger populations. This report focuses on Madya Pradesh, the self-proclaimed Tiger State, as an example of the problems facing tigers nationwide.

The tiger is threatened almost exclusively by human action. It can only be saved from early extinction if effective measures are taken to combat the threats listed in this document. The immediate threat to its survival is the growing demand for its part for use in oriental medicine. Thus, urgent steps must be taken to stop the unprecedented pursuit and killing of the tiger. The tiger bone trade must be shut down at international and national levels.

This report has clearly shown that a tiger crisis exists today, and that unless drastic action is taken, India will lose its tigers.

Protection of the tiger has become an international slogan, especially with the initiation of the Global Tiger Forum, in New Delhi, in 1993. However, the apathy of most governments towards nature and natural resources, and the machinations of various commercial and industrial interest groups are major obstacles to the protection of the tiger.

A few weeks ago this newspaper was kind enough to publish an article I wrote on the sorry fate of the tiger. The article may have just worked.

a conference organized by the Union environment ministry on February 12 in the national capital came out with the Tiger Census 2008 and the State of India’s Forests Report 2005. Both came out with dismal figures: a little more than 1,400 tigers are left in the county; and over 725 sq km of forests have vanished between 2002 and 2004.

In a way, the Budget speech of the Union Finance Minister for 2008-2009 was unique. India's national animal tiger managed to find way in Chidambaram's speech when he recognised that the figure of 1411, the official number of tigers in the country, was alarming. "The number 1,411 should ring the alarm bells,' is how Chidambaram voiced his concern over the depleting number of tigers in the country as he announced a special grant to save the animal in the Budget 2008-09. Presenting a new ray of hope for the endangered specie, the finance minister proposed an allocation of Rs 50 crore to save the big cat by raising a tiger protection force. "1,411 is the number of tigers in India. The tiger is under grave threat,' the finance minister said, adding that the grant to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) would redouble efforts to protect the big cat. Bulk of the grant will be used to raise, arm and deploy a special tiger protection force and this is one effort that the majority of tiger conservationists in the country have welcomed.

The declining tiger population in the country figured in the budget proposals for 2008-09 with the government announcing a special package for the conservation of the big cats. "The tiger is under grave threat,' Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said, while presenting the budget estimates in Parliament on Friday. Mr. Chidambaram said that in order to redouble the government's effort to protect the tiger, there was a special allocation of Rs.50 crore for the National Tiger Conservation Authority. The bulk of the grant would be used to raise a special armed Tiger Protection Force. In the last budget the Minister announced an expert committee to study the impact of climate change on India and identify the measures that would be taken in the future to deal with climate change. "Even while adhering to the principle of common but differentiated responsibility, we can and we must do a number of things in our self-interest,' he said, while advocating the need for promoting clean technology, reviewing fuel emission and efficiency regulations. He said India could replace wood with solar energy as the fuel of common use, and encourage the use of gas which is the most benign hydrocarbon.

on january 1, 2008, the government after much vacillation notified the rules of Scheduled Tribes and Other Tradi- tional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act. The day before, it had notified "critical tiger habitats' in 28 existing and eight proposed tiger reserves. It scored on both tiger conservation and protection of tribal rights.

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