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Newsletter 56
31/07/12

Indian Government, the Wrong Decision

 

The news has broken that the Indian Government is far down the tracks with legislation that will ban tourism from their parks.

I should be overjoyed, because all that tourism now becomes available to Tiger Canyons. However, I'm not, I'm bitterly disappointed.

Already professional and amateur photographers are streaming into Tiger Canyons because their last trip to India has been hugely disappointing.

One group waited for a decent shot of a tiger for three weeks and got none. Another group found a tiger in tall grass surrounded by seventeen cars. After 15 minutes, without ever seeing the tiger, a rude government official told them to leave.

Infuriated, they cancelled their Indian Safari, came to Tiger Canyons and shot 4000 images in three days.

Unless you are Ted Turner, Richard Branson or Lakskmi Mittal, you cannot think of trying to save an animal like a tiger unless you have a reliable and extensive source of income. That income comes from tourism.

The original Mother Leopard at Londolozi who spurned the leopard industry in the Sabi Sand, was photographed over a million times. I personally shot two million feet of film of her and her nineteen cubs.

Tigress Julie has starred in three TV series which have reached a global audience in 180 countries wordwide.

The simple fact is that Mother Leopard and Tigress Julie are ambassador, icon cats. They are highly viewable and are renewable resources being photographed time and again throughout their lives.

If a balance sheet was constructed, they would surely sit under the asset column at millions of dollars.

So why would the Indian Government take a decision which cuts off the income that is crucial for saving the wild tiger.

This excellent article throws some light on why this extraordinary decision is pending.


Tourism ban will not help the Big Cat

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/article3687215.ece

Ninad D Sheth

The Supreme Court’s decision banning tourism in core areas of tiger habitats overlooks several critical considerations. It will harm, rather then help, the cause of tiger conservation.

For a start, it gives way too much power to the forest department. The ban will mean only one agency will both implement the tiger protection agenda, and audit that process.

The various forest and environment officials at the Centre and at the State level have a terrible record of tiger protection. They had held up the absurd number of 5,000 wild tigers in India till recently when it was already clear to every one (including the much maligned lodge owners) that there are only about 1,500 tigers left in India.

Tellingly, the two parks from where the tiger completely disappeared due to poaching were Panna and Sariska and both were not in the top ten most visited by tourists. In contrast, parks with the highest tiger density, such as Ranthambhore and Corbett, are amongst the most visited In India.

In both Panna and Sariska, the forest officers went to great lengths to deny that the parks were without a single big cat. The unscientific relocation in Sariska has been a double disaster. These are the very people who will run tiger parks across India, if the new order is implemented in its current form.

Tourism isn’t the villain

Tourism allows for ample outside scrutiny of the forest and thus aids tiger preservation. Tourism brings in its wake assessment by lodge owners, guides, photographers and other stake-holders whose survival depends on robust tiger numbers.

Breeding of tigers has been observed with regularity by experts even when the tourism season is in full swing. What is more, no tiger deaths due to tourism have been reported. Forest officer vehicles have, however, caused at least three tiger deaths in national parks of Madhya Pradesh in the recent past.

Poaching for skin and bones and poisoning by nearby villagers remain the two main causes of tiger deaths in India. Incidentally a majority of the poaching incidents, including the latest one in Corbett last fortnight, have happened during the monsoon, when Parks are closed to the tourists.

The Minister of Environment and Forests has proposed dismantling of tourism infrastructure in and near parks within a five-year framework.

Instead, this is the time for the tourism industry as well as the MoEF to draw up a regulatory framework. And hotels that violate norms need to go.

Price it for rarity

At the same time, India needs to understand that the tiger is the rarest of the rare, and access to it should be priced accordingly. The African model offers some lessons. A one-week visit to the Masai Mara, Kenya, during the great migrations costs $3,000 while a week in Ranthambhore or Corbett costs a measly $400 - and the Masai Mara is far cheaper than reserves in places such as Okavango in Botswana.

Raising access fee to national park core area will not only regulate tourist numbers but also provide for far greater revenues for the upkeep of parks and sharing with the local population. This is the one measure that will achieve the desired ends and is also easy to implement on the ground.

To deny future generations that heart-stopping moment - when one sights a tiger in the wild - is no solution. The State’s job is to facilitate this majestic experience through a regulatory approach.

Each park in India has unique issues and will need different solutions. A thought-out policy framework - not an “off with the tourist's head” diktat - is the way forward.

Tread lightly on the earth.
JV


Tread lightly on the Earth

info@jvbigcats.co.za
Copyright 2007 @jvbigcats  All rights reserved


Newsletters


Newsletter 145
20/05/17
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Newsletter 144
08/05/17
Hunting versus Non Hunting

Newsletter 143
14/03/17
If it Pays, it Stays

Newsletters 142
14/02/17
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Newsletters 141
16/01/17
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Newsletter 140
10/12/16
Londolozi and Love

Newsletter 139
23/11/16
Life is Not Fair

Newsletter 138
17/11/16
The Trump Card

Newsletter 137
22/10/16
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Newsletters 136
13/10/16
Captive vs Wild

Newsletter 135
08/10/16
To trade  or not To Trade

Newsletter 134
08/08/16
A Defining Moment

Newsletter 133
08/07/16
I Have Lost A Friend

Newsletter 132
13/05/16
The World is Changing

Newsletter 131
08/04/16
Icon Cats

Newsletter 130
31/03/16
Sylvester the Lion

Newsletter 129
22/03/16
An Open Letter to Head United Nations

Newsletter 128
15/03/16
An Open Letter to Carte Blanche

Newsletter 127
28/11/15
Satellite Tracking

Newsletter 126
12/11/15
Lightning strikes 3 times

Newsletter 125
28/10/15
The Break Out

Newsletter 124
05/10/15
Bad Tigers

Newsletter 123
01/10/15
Tiger Boy's Journey

Newsletter 122
13/09/15
Give it a Name

Newsletter 121
10/09/15
Driven Hunts

Newsletter 120
01/09/15
Creative Conservation

Newsletter 119
12/08/15
Sariska from birth till death

Newsletter 118
11/08/15
Real Hunters

Newsletter 117
07/08/15
An Open Letter to the President: Operation Wild Lion

Newsletter 116
03/08/15
An Open Letter to Theo Bronkhorst

Newsletter 115
28/07/15
Cruel Nations

Newsletter 114
08/07/15
Subspecies or no subspecies

Newsletter 113
11/06/15
Tigers Moving Forward

Newsletter 112
13/04/15
Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Newsletter 111
26/03/15
Don't Shoot the Messenger

Newsletter 110
22/03/15
The Hunters

Newsletter 109
09/03/15
Gaia or God?

Newsletter 108
26/02/15
The Healing Power of Cats

Newsletter 107
18/02/15
Goddess Gaia

Newsletter 106
03/02/15
Ambassador Cats

Newsletter 105
24/01/15
Blondes have more fun

Invitation
09/01/15
Gaining ground for tigers

Newsletter 103
14/12/14
Tibo's Dilemma

Newsletter 102
05/12/14
Wilderness Man

Newsletter 101
25/11/14
Sariska fathers cubs with white Tigress Tibo

Newsletter 100
20/11/14
Cheetah Survival

Newsletter 99
30/09/14
Extract from JV's speech on Corbett's Freedom Day

Newsletter 98
15/08/14
The Power of the Picture

Newsletter 97
18/07/14
Tiger Corbett's Release

Newsletter 96
11/07/14
Corbett's Journey

Newsletter 95
18/06/14
Bush School: Where are they now?

Newsletter 94
12/05/14
Open letter to Jani Allen: Oscar Pistorius

Newsletter 93
07/05/14
John Varty interview with Sizie Modise

Newsletter 92
20/04/14
Marion's Big Cat Safari

Newsletter 91
24/02/14
Full energy flow

Newsletter 90
10/02/14
Investing in wild tigers

Newsletter 89
05/02/14
Where are the Champions?

Newsletter 88
27/01/14
Managing the Genes

Newsletter 87
16/01/14
Capture the Moment

Newsletter 86
07/12/13
The Princess Diana of Tigers - Julie:
 Sept 1999 - 5 Des 2013

Newsletter 85
26/11/13
The Communicators

Newsletter 84
26/11/13
A Letter to All Conservationists in SA 
Sparked by the whole Melissa Bachman Debacle
by Maxine Gaines

Newsletter 83
16/11/13
Tell me what happened

Newsletter 82
04/11/13
Profit is the Name of Your Game

Newsletter 81
30/10/13

Big Cat Cub Safari


Newsletter 80
18/10/13
In the Jaws of the Tiger

Newsletter 79
11/10/13
Open letter to Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa about rhino crisis

Newsletter 78
06/10/13
Open letter to Min of Defense, South Africa about rhino crisis

Newsletter 77
30/09/13
Digital Photography

Newsletter 76
06/09/13
Zoochosis

Newsletter 75
20/07/13
Rhino Horn Trade - Response

Newsletter 74
09/07/13
Raw Power

Newsletter 73
02/07/13
The Evolution of the Tracker

Newsletter 72
02/07/13
An Open Letter to the Honourable Edna Molewa, Minister of Water Affairs and Environmental Affairs

Newsletter 71
06/06/13
Using flash or spotlight on cats at night

Newsletter 70
14/05/13
Mirror mirror on the wall, who has the best eyesight of them all?

Newsletter 69
12/04/13
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fastest of them all?

Newsletter 68
25/03/13
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best fighter of them all?

Newsletters 67
07/03/13
Wild Cheetah return to the Free State after 100 years

Newsletter 66
28/02/13
Seeking the genes

Newsletters 65
06/02/13
Corbett's Journey

Newsletters 64
22/01/13
In Search of a Mate

Newsletters 63
11/01/13
Rumble in the Jungle

Newsletters 62
30/10/12
Voronin Big Cat Safari Breaks All Records

Newsletters 61
09/12/12
A Journey to Nowhere

Newsletter 60
03/10/12
The John Hume Approach

Newsletter 59
28/09/12
Response to Rhino Horn Auction

Newsletters 58
24/09/12
A Letter to John Hume, SA biggest Rhino Breeder

Newsletters 57
05/09/12
Newsletters 56
01/08/12
Indian Government -
the wrong decision

Newsletter 55
11/07/12
What price must beauty pay?

Newsletter 54
21/04/12
Corbett's Freedom

Newsletter 53
15/04/12
Lethal injection or Freedom

Newsletters 52
04/04/12
The anatomy of an aggressive tiger

Newsletters 51
14/02/12
Majestic, breathtaking pictures

Newsletters 50
04/11/11
Tigress Calendar

Newsletters 49
19/11/11

Let your pictures do the talking

Newsletters 48
26/09/11

Rhino Wars

Newsletters 47
06/09/11
A Letter to the President

Newsletters 46
08/08/11
The Body Parts Scam

Newsletters 45
11/07/11
Tiger Subspecies

Newsletters 43
01/05/11
Your future and the Tiger

Newsletter 42
08/05/11
Talk to Me

Newsletter 41
26/01/11
Gaian Reminder

Newsletter 40
18/11/10
Ron's Journey

Newsletter 39
20/10/10
"Descreprimate"

Newsletter 38
06/09/10
Beauty comes at a price

Newsletter 37
18/08/10

The Light Has Gone Out


Newsletter 36
08/07/10
The Beautiful Game

Newsletter 35
05/07/10
The Ethics of
Tiger Green Hunting

Newsletter 34
21/06/10
Tiger Hunt

Newsletter 33
26/05/10
The Year of the Tiger

Newsletter 32
11/02/10

Riding the Tiger


Newsletter 31
24/01/10

Runti's Journey


Newsletter 30
12/01/10

To intervene or not to intervene -
that is the question...

Newsletter 29
07/12/09

Lion - Tiger - Human Communication


Newsletter 28
12/11/09

Emotional humans, emotional cats


Newsletter 27
03/11/09

Julie gives birth to 5 tiger cubs


Newsletter 26
24/09/09

International Tiger Day


Newsletter 25
17/08/09

To all Photographers


Newsletter 24
16/07/09

A Shot in Anger


Newsletter 22
24/04/09


Newsletter 21
24/03/09


Newsletter 19
14/01/09

Tiger Birth
at Tiger Canyons


Newsletter 16
10/10/08

Tiger Courting


Newsletter 11
29/01/08

Privatizing the Tiger


Newsletter 9
27/10/07

Newsletter 8
28/09/07

Newsletter 7
14/09/07

Water Cats


Newsletter 6
14/08/07

Tiger Intelligence


Newsletter 5
16/05/07

Tiger language
Tiger Boma


Newsletter 3
09/03/07

Interspecies communication


Newsletter 2
06/02/07

Cub relocation


Londolozi
Newsletters

Death of a Legend
17/08/09


Newsletter 20
10/02/09

Newsletter 15
17/08/08

Painted Wolves


Newsletter 13
11/04/08

Response to Elephant Trust
by Daryl Balfour


Newsletter 12
09/04/08

Elephant Trust