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Tiger - Spy in the Jungle
Monday. 5.5.08 12:30 am
Dear Readers,

Few weeks back, i happened to come across online msn video showing how the latest *intelligent group* uses elephant to be the spy of the jungle...

never seen before close up of tigers and the cubs gave more inside to us. :D

click here to watch part of the video... guaranteed eyes catching.

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Dogs to help sniff out tigers
Monday. 2.16.09 9:24 am

Dogs to help sniff out tigers
Associated Press
February 15, 2009

Source: AJC.COM

Phnom Penh, Cambodia —- Maggie the German wirehaired pointer has arrived in Cambodia with an unusual task —- sniffing out tiger droppings in one of Cambodia’s largest nature reserves.

The unorthodox move to employ a dog trained in Russia to search for signs of the big cats is part of a campaign to boost a tiger population in Asia that has plummeted to as few as 5,000 from 100,000 a century ago.

Starting this week, the salt-and-pepper dog will begin scouring the undergrowth and sniffing for tiger scent on trees in an area of northeastern Cambodia.

It is unclear how many tigers are even left in Cambodia, where —- as in much of Asia —- poaching and habitat encroachment are blamed for decimating the population.

The turn to dogs comes after camera traps and field surveys failed to find the big cats last year. The last sign of a tiger was in 2007, when a paw print was spotted in the park.

“We think this is the best method when we have a large area and not that many tigers,” said Hannah O’Kelly, a wildlife monitoring adviser for the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society.

WCS and the wild cat conservation group Panthera, also based in New York, are spending about $30,000 to bring Maggie and a second dog from Russia to Seima later this year.

The effort to find tiger droppings is part of a worldwide campaign by conservationists to mine animal droppings for genetic information that can save endangered species.

Elephant dung, for example, was used two years ago to calculate the population of pachyderms in Malaysia’s Taman Negara National Park.

Now, researchers are hoping the tiger scat will help determine the existence of tigers in Seima along with their sex, age and whether any are pregnant or even under threat.

“As we gain the technology to extract things from scat like DNA and hormones, all of a sudden scat becomes a gold mine of information,” said Linda Kerley, a WCS consultant who trained the dogs in Russia.

The fear, O’Kelly said, is that the dogs don’t find any droppings.

“If we cover the whole area and we don’t find any tiger scat, then we can be reasonably confident there are no tigers,” O’Kelly said. “That would be very disappointing and I hope that doesn’t happen.”


Arent it cool? even the latest tech could not replace the nose of dogs.. :D

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Tiger Mosaic ~ We did it! Breeding tigers for trade soundly rejected
Thursday. 7.26.07 10:34 am
Dear All,

Still remember a post about tiger mosaic that i asked you to send ur photo in? well we have a good news.... :D

Add Your Photo to the Tiger Mosaic

Look at the result...
Source : Save The Tiger Fund
We did it! Breeding tigers for trade soundly rejected

In a major victory for conservation, raising captive tigers for trade in their parts was rejected by members of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meeting in The Hague this week.

Parties to the international wildlife convention also urged China to phase out its large-scale commercial tiger farms.

Prior to the decision WWF and other conservation organizations unveiled the massive two-storey-high tiger mosaic, made up of more than 26,000 photos, outside the conference centre urging world leaders to end all trade in tigers. Delegates had to walk past the mosaic on their way to the tiger debate.

4 countries with wild tigers - India, Nepal, Russia and Bhutan - were joined by the United States in advocating for a strong decision for tigers. India called on China to phase out the country’s privately run “tiger farms,” which house nearly 5,000 big cats and are pushing the Chinese government to allow legal trade in tiger parts. With leadership from these countries, the 171 member countries of the CITES convention adopted a strong tiger trade decision by consensus.

China has said that it will not lift its ban without listening to scientific opinion from around the world. The world spoke and urged China not to reopen any trade in tiger parts and to increase protection for tigers in the wild.

This is great news!

Thank you to everyone who took action and added their photo to the tiger mosaic. Without your help this would not have been possible!

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Crocodiles scare tiger poachers in India
Friday. 7.27.07 7:04 am
Source: Click Here

Crocodiles scare tiger poachers in India

CALCUTTA, India -- Poachers seeking to bag a Royal Bengal tiger in the Sunderbans reserve are encountering a unique new security measure to keep them away: hundreds of crocodiles that have been released in the mangrove forest.

Originally brought into the reserve in the late 1990s for breeding, the crocodiles are having the unintended beneficial effect of scaring away poachers from the forest - home to the largest wild population of Royal Bengal tigers.

"With tigers on land and the crocodile in water, the fear factor does work," divisional Forest Officer Rathin Banerjee said Tuesday.

During winter months, the crocs often come out of the cold water and lie in the jungle path of the poachers.

Nearly 400 crocodiles, bred in captivity over the years, have been released in the reserve, Banerjee said. A 2004 census said more than 270 tigers were roaming the reserve in West Bengal state, bordering Bangladesh.

"The use of crocodiles is one of the measures to save the wildlife there from poachers," said V.K. Yadav, a forest conservator.

Conservationist Ranjit Mitra said it was difficult to say how many tigers have been killed by poachers in the past five years, "but it will run into dozens."

Another conversationist called the idea of using crocs "novel."

"It is surely a novel idea, but this can be one of the measures to check poaching," said Animesh Basu of the Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation, a local non-governmental organization.

The state Forest Department was assessing the effectiveness of the new measure.

"It is not like you count how many hens you had and how many have been taken away by the jackals at night," Yadav said. "Here the idea is to ensure that there is no unusual change in the demography," Yadav said referring to major species of animals in the Sunderbans.

India's border guards also have set up camps in the area to guard against the poachers.

"We are trying our best," Yadav said.

Preliminary results of a recent exhaustive study of tiger habitats found that the population in some Indian states may be nearly 65 percent smaller than experts had thought.

Conservationists said the early results indicated the most recent tiger census - which found about 3,500 tigers - was far too optimistic. The study was conducted in the past two years by the government-run Wildlife Institute of India.


Don't u think this is cool? instead of setting up all those high tech protection, crocodiles just get a new job... :D

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Officials Nab India's Most Notorious Tiger Poacher
Sunday. 9.30.07 10:37 am

Source:Environment News Service

NAGPUR, Maharashtra, India, September 27, 2007 (ENS) - Known tiger poacher Laxman Singh Pardhi has confessed to forestry officials that he killed three tigers and four leopards, the "Times of India" newspaper reported today.

Pardhi was arrested 10 days ago in a joint operation conducted by the Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh forest departments, acting on information provided by the Wildlife Protection Society of India.

"He has accepted his role in direct killings besides acting as a carrier and supplier of traps and vehicles," BS Hooda, field director and conservator of forests for the Melghat Tiger Reserve, told the newspaper.

Tiger in the Melghat Tiger Reserve (Photo courtesy Indian Wildlife Tourism)
Pardhi, a resident of the Betul district, has seven cases pending against him in Melghat Tiger Reserve, all involving large endangered cat species such as tigers and leopards, according to the Wildlife Protection Society of India.

He has now been remanded to magisterial custody until October 2. There are two other cases against him in South Betul division as well. Pardhi and his wife are known to have visited Delhi-based skin trader Sansar Chand in the past, the animal protection group says.

Meanwhile, Forest Department officials made headway against poachers in other parts of India during the past week.

One tiger skin was seized by the Forest Department of Karnataka in Bandipur Tiger Reserve on September 21. Five people were arrested, two of whom are believed to be traders, but two other suspects have disappeared. The tiger was killed by poisoning on July 29, the Wildlife Protection Society said.

On the same day, the Orissa Forest Department seized a leopard skin and two country-made guns in Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary, which is a proposed tiger reserve. Five people were taken into custody. The accused are believed to have killed the leopard a week ago in the Tikkarpara Reserve Forest.

A century ago, 100,000 tigers are believed to have roamed the world, but the wild population is now estimated at between 7,000 and 5,000 animals. Some estimates suggest fewer than 2,500 mature breeding individuals survive.

Destruction of their habitat and poaching for skins and other body parts used in traditional Asian medicine as pain killers and aphrodisiacs are responsible for their demise.

The Barasingha or swamp deer, is vulnerable to extinction. (Photo credit unknown)
On September 23, police in the state of Uttar Pradesh seized 24 pairs of barasingha deer antlers and arrested two men who were transporting them. Two others managed to escape.

The men were carrying the antlers in gunny sacks to Delhi, where they are believed to be based. Some of them have previous records in wildlife crime, officials said.

Once, barasingha deer were distributed throughout the moist forests and swamplands of the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, as well as in central India.

Now, these deer are classed as Vulnerable to extinction on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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Stop tigers from going extinct
Sunday. 9.30.07 10:59 am

Source: Los Angeles Times

Unless drastic action is taken now, the lord of the jungle will go extinct this century.

By Vinod Thomas
September 27, 2007

The magnificent tiger could, in the early part of this century, be extinct in the wild. That is the unthinkable yet undeniable situation facing the lord of the jungle. The only way to stave off such a disaster is for the two largest developing economies, China and India, to take urgent action to control the trade in tiger parts and to protect habitats.

Several subspecies of the tiger (Bali, Javan and Caspian) have become extinct in the last few decades, while others (South China, Indochinese) are critically endangered. The latest census confirms that the number of Bengal tigers in India -- the single largest population -- has dwindled by more than 50% in the last five years to fewer than 1,500 in the wild, which experts say could be the tipping point for extinction.

How has the tiger's fate come to this? The foremost reason is poaching to meet demand for tiger products used in traditional medicines in China and other parts of East Asia. The other crucial factor is the continuous loss of tiger habitat, which is down by about 40% across India in the last decade, along with which has disappeared much of its prey.

To make matters worse, there now is relentless pressure from tiger farmers in East Asia to legalize the trade in the bones, fur, paws, penis and teeth of their animals. On the surface, the case made for legalizing the sale of tiger parts is beguiling. By flooding the market with parts from farm-raised tigers, it's argued, prices will plummet, reducing the profitability of poaching. A cited analogy: People don't hunt wild turkeys for Thanksgiving when supermarkets overflow with farmed supplies.

But to reduce poaching, those who raise tigers in captivity would need to undercut the cost of supplying the parts from wild tigers. That's improbable. Poaching in India, by poisoning or with simple steel traps, costs less than $100 a tiger (plus transport and other costs). Raising one in captivity -- even three or more to a cage -- costs about $3,000.

Conservationists warn that legalizing the tiger trade would be the death knell for tigers in the wild. That's because it will always be cheaper to hunt tigers, and poaching will be less risky if poached parts can be easily laundered -- that is, passed off as coming from captive-bred animals.

Without DNA analysis, even lion bones are indistinguishable from tiger's, and they too are sold on East Asia's black market. So India's poachers also now are hunting the last lions in Asia -- about 350 in the Gir forest in the western state of Gujarat. In just two weeks in May, poachers killed a dozen lions.

India still offers the best hope for the tigers' future because it has the most tigers and a conservation infrastructure. In 1973, the Indian government initiated Project Tiger, designating protected areas and wildlife corridors. This led to a dramatic recovery -- their numbers nearly tripled by the 1990s. But that commitment faltered, and the population collapsed again.

What now? It is essential to deal with poaching and the demand for tiger parts in traditional medicine immediately. The World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies states that tiger parts are not necessary for traditional medicines, and alternatives are available and effective. So there are solid reasons to strongly enforce the international ban on the tiger trade, and for China to keep its 1993 domestic ban securely in place.

Vital too are investments in India to protect habitats. Tiger reserves and forests need an adequate number of field protection staff equipped with modern technology. Forest rangers, who confront dangers from poachers, also merit better pay and protection; today many of those jobs go unfilled.

Most important, the communities abutting tiger habitat, some of which are among the poorest in India, must have a stake in protecting tigers. The residents need to gain from conservation efforts and eco-tourism: There are very few places in the world where tourists can see wild tigers. Poachers could be given rewards for tracking and photographing the animals for monitoring. They might be given new avenues for livelihood: In the forest reserves of Periyar in India's southern state of Kerala, for example, former poachers now work as tourist guides.

The critical status of the tiger, a creature at the top of the animal kingdom, says a great deal about how little we value biodiversity in a global economy. China's and India's impressive 9% growth rates would be tarnished if, in the process, the planet should lose tigers and other wildlife for good.

As the symbol of countries, teams and corporations, the tiger has helped sell beer, sports goods and breakfast cereal. Now it could use some high-profile reciprocity. Support from private corporations -- such as Exxon Mobil's Save the Tiger Fund -- as well as the Asian business diaspora and international agencies could prove decisive. But the moment for action is now. Without immediate financial and political commitments, it will be too late to save this mesmerizing animal.

Vinod Thomas is the director general of the Independent Evaluation Group at the World Bank.

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