OUR MISSION: TO GIVE WILD TIGERS A WILD FUTURE

Our ultimate goal  is to protect wild tigers from extinction by eliminating tiger deaths due to poaching, poisoning or retaliatory attacks.
With India home to approximately 70% of all remaining wild tigers it is vital we protect their populations for generations to come. 

 We hope to achieve this through:

  • 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.
  • Educating people living with wild tigers to ensure their personal safety and that of their families and livestock.
  • 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 100 years.  Poachers have jeopardised wild tiger survival for years with snares consisting of anchored wires with sliding nooses camouflaged along tiger trails.

The world’s wild tigers & their forest habitats are under threat. Protected Tiger Reserves are surrounded by buffer zones, intended to define the boundaries of the burgeoning human population. Frequent wild animal movement leads to human-animal conflict in the buffers where poachers focus laying snares.

Bandhavgarh has lost many tigers in snares. In 15 years, over 300 tigers have died in snares in India devastating wild tiger populations & threatening long-term survival.

 

HUMAN-ANIMAL CONFLICT

Over the last 3 years Bandhavgarh has suffered from an acute water crisis due to erratic rainfall & long dry spells impacting all. Existing wildlife waterholes previously replenished by rainwater have become dry or almost dry. Thirsty prey animals enter villages to drink & graze crops. Predators follow in search of food & take livestock. Villagers can’t afford to lose 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 & 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 & 94% reduction in wild tiger deaths from poaching in Bandhavgarh since July 2015.
Provided 2020 educational opportunities for children in 24 villages. Over 33,000 locally sourced items for education packs and vital equipment for anti-poaching patrols.
Reduced human-animal conflict with permanent wildlife waterhole solutions.

WHY ARE WILD TIGERS WORTH SAVING

In 1900, there were an estimated 45,000 wild tigers in India (100,000 globally). In 1972, India only had 1,827. By the mid-1990s that number rose to an estimated 3,500. But by 2008 it had fallen again to 1,411. 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 suggests 2,226 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: