24 October 2012

It’s extraordinary that a Government like Karnataka can say in the same breath that tiger numbers are increasing in their reserves, and as a result they are taking out all the tourism operations so that it does not disturb tigers. Logic would suggest that the growth in wildlife tourism has actually been beneficial to tiger population densities, given that both have grown in unison. By the same perverse logic the Ecotourism committee, with all the latest scientific evidence about tiger tourism and tiger densities still chose to ignore its obvious conclusions and pushed on with guidelines that will throttle any quality nature or viewing experience. This by dint of concentrating visitors into ever decreasing areas, effectively ‘hotspotting’ them – instead of spreading visitors further and thinner across a wilderness landscape.

It’s not the tourism inside the park that is the problem (even though nobody likes crowds of jeeps - the tigers who live there do not mind or keep a low profile) but instead the effects of poor land use policies outside parks - all curable with better collaboration between ministries responsible for revenue lands, more inclusive management practices and stricter monitoring of present laws.

Its simply far easier to admonish the visible edifices near a couple of park entrances – than recognise the far greater invisible threats of poverty, wood extraction, degradation, grazing, agricultural creep, mining and illegal poaching that happens around the entire circumference of a park.

See here http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-10-23/bangalore/34679552_1_forest-minister-core-areas-tiger-tourism

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