A Busy Few Months
Thank you for your continued support as we fight to give more wild tigers a wild future. The unseasonably cold weather has now made way for the hot summer months and the onset of the drought season in Bandhavgarh. Our team in India has been extremely busy since our last report bringing the total number of Tigers4Ever permanent waterholes for wild tigers to eleven. Thanks to your generosity and some grant funding we have completed 3 more waterhole projects since our last report and are currently undertaking surveys to determine the optimum drilling site for our twelfth waterhole project. The wild elephants have continued to bring us new challenges both in protecting solar pump systems and water pipelines at our existing and new waterhole sites. We have tried a variety of solutions to elephant-proof each location as “the one size fits all” solutions never seem to work, in our experience.
More Tigers Can Lead to More Conflict
The latest tiger census counting process is underway and we expect the number of wild tigers in Bandhavgarh to increase again when compared to 2018. This is even more remarkable given the significant increases in wild tiger poaching throughout India during the pandemic over the last two years. We’re really grateful for all your help in fundraising for our anti-poaching patrols as we’ve had to triple our patrolling to address this increased risk.
Although the improvement in tiger cub mortality (to 90-95% from 50%) is good news for the wild tiger population, it also presents many new challenges as the growing cubs need more food and new territories of their own. When there is insufficient prey or habitat the incidence of both Tiger-Tiger and Human-Tiger conflict inevitably increases. This always comes to a head as the drought season takes hold because prey disperses in search of water and tigers follow in search of food. These searches take animals into villages where they eat the crops and when the tigers follow, they kill cattle and other livestock leaving angry villagers without food or vital income sources. If prompt action doesn’t follow, snares traps and baited carcasses are set to eliminate the intruding wild animals and save the farmers’ livelihoods.
The best way to reduce the Human-Wildlife conflict is to prevent the prey animals from straying towards the villages in search of water. This is why our permanent wildlife waterholes are so important, especially at this time of year. If the prey animals have adequate water and food, so will the predators including tigers and leopards. When we recently completed our 11th waterhole project we increased the number of wild tigers benefitting from Tigers4Ever waterholes to 56. If we can complete our 12th waterhole in the next month, the number of wild tigers which will benefit will increase to 63.
Wild elephants are also benefitting our recently completed Mahaman waterhole project, whilst a nomadic young adult male has established his new territory in an area which benefits from our completed Kisanhai waterhole project. At our Kisanhai waterhole project we’re trialling a new system of elephant-proofing the solar-pump system with a deep and wide moat around the solar-pump site. We have also buried feeder pipes to the waterhole 1 metre (39 inches) beneath the ground to prevent wild elephants from unearthing and damaging them.
Our latest waterhole project, at Kamtamadhi, completed just a few weeks ago, has helped to rejuvenate a natural marshland which is also benefitting many wetland birds in addition to deer, wild boar, elephants and reptiles. This is a vital boost especially after the devastating forest fires at the end of March 2021. Our recent focus has been on providing year-round water at seasonal waterhole locations to try to prevent the dispersal of wild animals in the drought season, as this would inevitably lead to Human-Wildlife conflict.
Little by Little
This year the GlobalGiving Little By Little matched funding campaign is later than last year as it will be in April. Between 04 April and 08 April 2022, your online donations to our waterhole project will qualify for 50% in bonus matched funds on the first US$50 (£38) of your donations throughout the week. This means that your smaller donations will have an increased impact at a time when wild tigers desperately need water https://goto.gg/34315. Although you are more than welcome to donate larger amounts too as this year there won’t be a matched funding campaign around Earth Day and Climate Action so our waterhole project will be our primary focus at the beginning of April. During this campaign we hope to raise a total of £5000 (US$7000) so that we can put solar powered bore-well pumps at two further seasonal waterhole sites bringing the total number of wild tigers benefitted to around 75 including cubs.
If you feel able to help during this Little by Little Campaign (04 – 08 April 2022) our friends at GlobalGiving are giving us the chance to gain a bonus matched funds throughout the week; so it’s a great time to donate because whatever you donate online on the day is sure to be worth more and will have a great impact for wild tigers: https://goto.gg/34315.
Human-Wildlife Conflict is a Growing Problem
Conflict between humans and wild animals is a serious problem in many parts of the world, and India is no exception. The damage and destruction caused by a variety of wild animals to
property and even to human life is a real and significant danger to many communities. Wild animals often are often killed, captured, or otherwise harmed in retaliation, as a result and thus human-wildlife conflicts is a significant threat to the future survival of many species including wild tigers. Tigers4Ever views human-animal conflict as a priority issue for its work to give wild tigers a wild future, which is why we need your help to deliver solutions to reduce the conflict.
Habitat loss and a burgeoning human population increase the pressure on the last remaining pristine wild tiger habitat, and as the wild tiger population increases so does Tiger-Tiger and Human-Wildlife conflict. We will reach a saturation point where we have provided as many permanent wildlife waterholes as the current forest habitat can support, but we still have some way to go yet. We’re already looking at other ways to address the conflict issues by improving the existing forest habitat to support increased prey numbers and reducing the dependence on scarce forest resources by the tigers’ human neighbours, to help sustain the existing forest cover. Later this year, we hope to launch a forest rehabilitation project to work alongside our waterhole project to deliver new solutions to human-wildlife and Tiger-Tiger conflict.
Our Current Focus
Right now our focus is on providing permanent water for the wild animals to mitigate the impact of drought and reduce the risk of spontaneous forest fires starting where no water remains. We hope this year during the Little by Little Campaign (04 – 08 April 2022) you will help us to give wild tigers the gift of life with a donation at: https://goto.gg/34315 so we can start work to provide permanent water for wild tigers at two more locations in Bandhavgarh too. Remember that your gift during this campaign will have a greater impact however large or small because it helps us to gain bonus matched funding from GlobalGiving on the first US$50 (£38) of your donation, thank you.
More permanent wildlife waterholes are essential to prevent future tiger-tiger and human-animal conflicts, which arise from increased wild tiger numbers, and better cub survival rates. There are currently more tiger cubs (41) in Bandhavgarh than the total number of wild tigers (37) counted in the Tiger Census (in 2010) when Tigers4Ever started working there, thus we need to do everything we can to prevent wild tiger deaths due to retaliatory response to human-wildlife conflict. One waterhole (our 12th) is nowhere near enough to reduce the conflict caused by wild tigers encroaching on the territories of other tigers and humans. We need your help to be able to do at least two more waterholes too, before it is too late for the wild tigers and other wildlife: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/water-for-bandhavgarhs-tigers/. With your help, we can raise enough money to start work on another two waterholes which will benefit another 12 wild tigers including cubs.
You Can Help us to Make a Huge Difference Right Now
This year GlobalGiving is pledging a 100% bonus in matched funds on new monthly donations which are continued for at least 4 months. So now really is the time to give monthly, if you can, to make the most of your donation! https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/water-for-bandhavgarhs-tigers/?show=recurring.
We need to raise £5000 (US$7000) to start work at two more new waterhole sites, so if just 140 of our supporters each donate US$50 (£38) during the Little by Little campaign we’ll raise enough to start work as soon as our work at the twelfth waterhole site is completed, saving the lives of at least 12 more wild tigers in the process https://goto.gg/34315.
Our Challenges Ahead
We need to maximise our efforts to keep wild tigers safe right now. Our anti-poaching patrols are still tripled to address the increased risk of retaliatory poisoning and poaching. With your help, we can complete three waterhole projects soon, which in total will help to keep at least 19 wild tigers safe.
Here are some of the ways your donations will help us to save wild tigers:
– £10 ($14) per month for a year will help to drill 12 metres (39 feet) of bore-well to access underground water;
– a one-off £20 ($28) gift will help to drill 2 metres (6.5 feet) of bore-well to access underground water;
– a one-off £40 ($56) gift will help to drill 4 metres (13 feet) of bore-well to access underground water;
– £90 ($126) can pay a team of workers to prepare a site for a new waterhole for wild tigers;
– £120 ($170) can cover the cost of labour and preparation of a 1.5 metre wide by 1.5 metre deep elephant proof moat to protect a solar-pump system;
– £1700 ($2400) will drill and line a deep bore-well to access underground water.
Every donation, no matter how large or small, helps us increase and protect the tiger population. Thank you on behalf of the wild tigers, which you are helping us to keep safe; and on behalf of the wider tiger community in Bandhavgarh, which benefits from providing equipment and labour for our waterhole projects. We couldn’t do this without you, thanks to you, the wild tigers can live peacefully and those who live beside them can protect their livelihoods.
Any and all donations are welcome https://goto.gg/34315. If you can’t afford to donate perhaps you could become a Tigers4Ever fundraiser, here: https://www.globalgiving.org/dy/v2/fundraisers/start/?fundraiser.projids=34315 and ask your friends, colleagues and family to donate to your fundraiser to help us keep wild tigers safe.
Find out more about the importance of our wildlife waterholes projects in the reduction of human-wildlife conflict here: https://tigers4ever.org/waterholes/.