OUR MISSION: TO GIVE WILD TIGERS A WILD FUTURE

Our ultimate goal is to prevent the extinction of wild tigers.
With India home to more than two thirds of the global wild tiger population; it is vital that we eliminate wild tiger deaths due to poaching and retaliatory poisoning to ensure that wild tigers are around for future generations. 

We achieve this by:

  • Providing Anti-Poaching Patrols to keep wild tigers safe from poachers’ snares and traps.
  • Working with the communities who live with wild tigers to ensure they have a vested interest in wild tiger survival.
  • Educating future generations so they know the value of an apex predator and its habitat to the ecology and sustainability of the landscape.
  • Providing safety advice to ensure that people living with wild tigers keep themselves, their families and livestock safe.
  • Reducing human-animal conflict to help stabilise both prey and predator numbers through the provision of sustainable environmentally focused permanent wildlife waterhole solutions and schemes to reverse habitat destruction.

THREATS TO WILD TIGERS

POACHING

97% of the global wild tiger population has been lost in just over 100 years.  Poachers have jeopardised wild tiger survival for years with snares consisting of anchored wires with sliding nooses camouflaged these along tiger trails.

The world’s wild tigers and their forest habitats are under threat. Protected Tiger Reserves are surrounded by buffer zones, where the burgeoning human population lives amongst the wildlife. Wild animals movement move freely disregarding human boundaries which leads to human-animal conflict and enables poachers to lay their snares.

Since the 1990s. Bandhavgarh, like many Tiger Reserves has lost many tigers in snares and to retaliatory poisonings. In just 15 years, India’s wild tiger population was decimated as over 300 tigers died in snares, which threatened the long-term survival of wild tigers.

HUMAN-ANIMAL CONFLICT

Over the last 4 years Bandhavgarh has suffered from an acute water crisis due to erratic rainfall causing longer drought seasons which impact all. Existing wildlife waterholes previously replenished by rainwater have become dry or almost dry. Thirsty prey animals enter villages to drink and, whilst there, raid crops. Predators follow in search of prey and kill livestock when their native prey flees. Villagers can’t afford to lose their crops and livestock to wildlife so look to end the conflict by fair or foul means risking tigers’ lives.

The burgeoning human population has decimated India’s wild tiger habitat, increasing incidents of human-animal conflict due to lack of food for prey and predators. Bandhavgarh has over 70 villages with 44% of families having 4 or more children.

OUR ACHIEVEMENTS

Eliminated wild tiger deaths due to retaliatory poisoning & 97% reduction in wild tiger deaths from poaching in Bandhavgarh since July 2015.
Provided 2200 educational opportunities for children in 25 villages. Over 35,100 locally sourced items for education packs and vital equipment for anti-poaching patrols.
Reduced human-animal conflict with permanent wildlife waterhole resources at eight locations.

WHY ARE WILD TIGERS WORTH SAVING

In 1900, there were an estimated 100,000 wild tigers globally. In 1972, India only had 1827 left. By the mid-1990s numbers had risen to an estimated 3500. But by 2008 they had fallen again to 1411. The few which are are left today still face enormous pressures which threaten their long term survival – recent censuses in 2011 and 2014 have included cubs in their numbers, whose survival is far from guaranteed! The latest figure from 2018 suggests 2967 tigers in India which is 70% of the Global Tiger Population.

The tiger is the most powerful predator, yet the most vulnerable. Vulnerable because of the habitat destruction which is threatening its very survival; vulnerable because of the ebb and flow of the eco-systems of its habitat; vulnerable because of man; vulnerable because of its very success.

 

And why is all this so important?

Tigers are apex predators, i.e. they are at the top of the food chain. Apex predators are needed to keep herbivore populations in check because uncontrolled breeding in the herbivore population will have devastating consequences on the forests and vegetation which are the lifeblood of our survival. Herbivores graze or browse (leaf eating) more than their own body-weight each day, once the food supply in the forests are exhausted they turn to farmed crops for food. Without apex predators, herbivore numbers increase and the forest cannot sustain their appetite.

In Kanha National Park (Madhya Pradesh, India ) reputedly the place which so inspired Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, in the visitor centre, there is this sign: