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
More Archived TOFT News
New DMC member Alluring India Destination joins the Campaign
27 February 2015
The New Delhi based Alluring India Destination offers a range of spiritual and wildlife tours in India for the discerning wanderer. They believe in going beyond the itineraries and giving travellers an experience that is unique and one they will cherish. Spreading awareness on water and waste management within their staff, their customers, and the communities they visit, they promote responsible tourism in their daily operations as well. Periodical energy audits are done to ensure efficiency, and the involvement of local communities by the company go a long way in developing a healthy relationship that also benefits the visitors. - Read more...
Village Wildlife Guardians Training
11 February 2015
TOFTigers are delighted to announce the final completion of training for the first batch of Ranthambhore Village Wildlife Guardians. Ten villagers were chosen by the Forest Department and Tigerwatch, from key areas bordering the less well known eastern boundaries of the park, where wildlife-human conflict is often at its highest, and undergone training last weekend. Training was done by Field Director and his Deputy, experts including Dr Dharmendra Khandal and a Forester, on the raft of skills needed to become the village eyes and ears for the park. Each Guardian is being sponsored by a TOFTigers travel company member that makes its living off its visitors enjoying the park. To date sponsors include Abercrombie & Kent India, &Beyond India, idiscover, Royal India Holidays and Indian Wildlife Experiences (IWX). - Read more...
NEW LODGE MEMBER - Tora Eco Resort, Sundarbans, West Bengal
06 February 2015
A community based eco-resort on Bali Island in Sundarbans, West Bengal, a delta area famous for its dense mangrove forests rich with flora and fauna. Surrounded by lush green paddy fields and with a fishing pond on the banks of the river Gumdi, accommodation is in six cottages built in the rural style from mud and thatch with en-suite showers. Traditional Bengali, Indian and continental meals are served in a large open dining hall. Activities include village walks, local cultural activities, jungle safaris and boat trips. With a Quality PUG eco-rating, this is an admirable joint initiative by Vivada, Bali Nature and Wildlife Conservation Society and WWF’s Regional Director to enable sustainable tourism to lead tiger and forest conservation. - Read more...