We only have 8 days in India and we want to see a TIGER! Please help!

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#46 Jun 4th, 2005, 20:35
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#46
We spent 4/5 days in Ranthanbore National Park and went out on 6 safari's and didn't see a tiger once although tigers were spotted during a couple of times during our stay.

We hadn't planned to go there but we meet two different couples who had both spotted a tiger there. We went out in a canter because you have to book the jeeps months in advance. The problem with this is they are loud and often on our trip there were kids screaming and people shouting which made the chance of spotting a tiger minimal. The drivers of these canters varied greatly as well. It was quite obvious they had a route to follow and a couple of times we were driven at speed round the national park so were never going to spot a tiger - often the drivers/guides didn't point anything out!. Twice we had guides who were really dedicated to spotting tigers but this was rare and a complete lottery of which driver and level of skill you got.

For the above reasons I wouldn't recommend Ranthanbore. We did however hear good reports about Corbett and Kanha.
#47 Jun 13th, 2005, 17:25
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#47

See The Tiger

Bandhavgarh offers a good chance of seeing the tiger so does Kanha I would suggest you go to Bandhavgarh Tiger reserve if not then kanha....rest of the tiger reserves offer a much thin chance of spotting the tiger...you can contact me for booking if required
warm regards
Uday
#48 Jul 6th, 2005, 17:36
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#48
jungle bride
there are as many as 47 quotes contributed.and if you did notice there is one common line..........the chances of seeing a tiger in bandhavgarh is more then any other national park weather you talk about corbett,ranthambore,kanha..... ...........
and it is really true.......................... .....
#49 Jul 19th, 2005, 14:37
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#49
In our local Sunday paper travel section the writer relates her experience of staying at the Oberoi at Ranthambore.Sounds nice but quotes price as $1825 AUD per person for a two night package !!

She also talks of dwindling tiger numbers generally but alarmingly for us states "Last year,tigers and leopards disappeared from Bandhavgarh,in the central state of Madhya Pradesh." We'd decided to go to Bandharvagh on our next trip to India and whilst we can live without seeing a tiger,it'd be nice to know that there is at least the chance of seeing one.Going by previous posts hopefully the writer has got her wires crossed,but any (further) reassurance by IMer's would be greatly appreciated.
#50 Jul 19th, 2005, 17:17
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#50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino She also talks of dwindling tiger numbers generally but alarmingly for us states "Last year,tigers and leopards disappeared from Bandhavgarh,in the central state of Madhya Pradesh."
The statement is totally false. It was said about Ranthambhore and Sariska, but not for Bandhavgarh.
Bandavgarh has the highest Tiger density in India, and the chances of seeing a tiger is highest in Bandhavgarh, Kanha and Pench Tiger Reserves in M.P.
Don't worry and proceed as per your plan.
#51 Jul 19th, 2005, 19:11
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#51
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Originally Posted by gs_uppal The statement is totally false. It was said about Ranthambhore and Sariska, but not for Bandhavgarh.
Bandavgarh has the highest Tiger density in India, and the chances of seeing a tiger is highest in Bandhavgarh, Kanha and Pench Tiger Reserves in M.P.
Don't worry and proceed as per your plan.
Thankyou for your reply and it is as I suspected.I'll send off a complaint to the newspaper in question for publishing wrong information.
#52 Jul 26th, 2005, 02:56
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#52

Recent news on falling tiger numbers

I tried to find a link to this article and failed, so am going to type it in myself, because I think it may be of interest to lots of people on IndiaMike. Apologies if this breaches some sort of copyright somewhere. The article draws attention to just how quickly situations change and how important it is to maintain pressure on the authorities to act positively to protect wildlife. I have added a couple of notes of my own - highlighted in red text.

The author, Stephen Mills, is a highly respected expert who regularly leads tours to various tiger reserves and wrote 'Tiger', published by BBC Books in 2004. The following article appeared in the August 2005 copy of BBC Wildlife Magazine, as a News of the Earth Special Report.

Where have all the tigers gone?

2005 is turning out to be a disastrous year for India's tigers. Between 50 and 60 tigers are missing - believed poached - from three Project Tiger reserves. The Ministry of Environment and Forests rubbishes the advice of top scientists, and state chief wildlife wardens are failing to prosecute the few poachers the police do arrest. Stephen Mills reports on the new 'Tiger Crisis' that may require radical intervention at the highest level.

Sariska
On 29 January 2005, someone thought they saw a tiger in Sariska National Park. If so, it could be the last one ever spotted in the lovely dry forest in Rajasthan. While Rajesh Gopal, director of Project Tiger, believed the reserve's reputed 20-odd tigers had simply wandered off, the police arrested a local poaching gang who confessed to killing 10 tigers between 2002 and 2004, five of them during the 2004 monsoon. Infebruary, an investigative committee, including conservationists Valmik Thapar and Belinda Wright, concluded that Sariska's tigers had been "completely wiped out by poachers." On 1 April, Arun Sen, Rajasthan's chief wildlife warden, was suspended along with seven other officials. This is the most public catastrophe ever to afflict Project Tiger, and it has sparked a national alarm.

Ranthambore
In 2002, one observer reported seeing 17 different tigers in Ranthambore in a single day, but earlier this year the investigating committee reported"a definite decline in sightings between October 2004 and March 2005." Suspecting the loss of 12 tigers, it declared a "red alert",calling for the "sealing" of the park's borders against encroachment and the appointment of 100 more guards.

Panna
In January, the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department census reported at least 30 tigers in Panna. In fact, there may be fewer than 5. Between 1995 and 2004, Panna was the subject of a world-class scientific study by Dr Raghu Chundawat, one of India's few qualified tiger biologists. Until 2002, he documented a steady rise in tiger density in thepark, gathering photographic and radio telemetry evidence of a population peakof some 34 tigers. But in March, he revealed that in the past two years, 9 of the 11 breeding females and 21 mature cubs had disappeared. When he informed the authorities, they barred him from the park.

Other crisis zones
Kanha, in Madhya Pradesh, is supposed tohave more than 100 tigers, but illegal wood gatherers are everywhere and observers now doubt tigersnumbers exceed 40. In Bandhavgarh, sightings are frequent but two of the three best-known males have disappeared, and one was definitely poached. Investigators recently found a road being built in the park of which even the director claimed to be unaware. It is feared Pench in Maharashtra has lost five tigers in three months. Last year, a gang of 40 poachers from Madhya Pradesh was caught in Nagarahole in Karnataka. They had snared a male tiger that later died.

Tiger Statistics
  • India's 'official' tiger population is 3,642, but many experts fear it is much lower and falling.
  • Before the latest crisis, The Wildlife Protection Society of India alone had documented the slaughter of 719 tigers in 10 years. The undocumented cases can only be guessed at.
  • The Environmental Investigation Agency has evidence that poaching is now nationwide, co-ordinated and linked to markets outside India.
  • Not one of India's 28 ProjectTiger reserves is secure. Outside reserves, tigers have little if any protection.
  • Project Tiger has a current annual budget of 3.7 million

Anti-science culture
  • India's Ministry of Environment and Forests doesn't know how many tigers are missing nor how many there were in the first place. In Panna it 'counted' six 'males' within the known home range of a single tiger.
  • According to Dr Ullas Karanth, Indias only other world-renowned tiger biologist, millions of rupees spent on official "so-called wildlife research have not produced even a dozen articles in peer-reviewed international journal in three decades."
  • The government's director of wildlife preservation recently announced a ban on radio-telemetry, bird-banding and other standard wildlife monitoring tools.
  • "If he was in charge of telecomuncations instead of wildlife, he would probably try to ban telephones, wireless sets and computers, " Karanth commented.

You could also have a look at this article about related issues in the Sundarbans - said to be the largest remining tiger population:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/a...ow/1180364.cms


Feeble Enforcement
In January, police in Delhi seized a huge haul of leopard, tiger and otter skins from gang members involved with the most notorious tiger-parts smuggler Sansar Chand.

Chand is wanted in connection with 100 wilidlife crime cases. His wife Rani and nephew Pritam are in jail on skin-smuggling charges, yet he remains free. He was firstinddicted in 1974, aged 18.

Police referred the January case to the chief wildlife warden of Delhi, who has so far failed to prosecute or involve the Central Bureau of Investigation, despite the gang's international connections. Wildlife enforcement remains stymied at the local level.

Since the publication of this article, Sansar Chand has been indicted under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) for which bail is not available; it looks as though this may result in real action. Check the Times of India site at http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/search.cms for the latest details

Census to start
India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has set up a Special TaskForce but it is weighted in favour of politicians interested in tribal rights - a very different agenda.

Project Tiger has agreed a new,independently scrutinised tiger census to begin in November 2005. Thiis good news, but meny conservationists doubt it will get accurate results because of the ban on radio telemetry and other standard monitoring tools (see Anti-science culture, above).

Many of the problems concerning the poaching of tigers were highlighted by the BBC film Tiger Crisis in 1993. An anti-poaching task force and new census methods were promised then, but nothing has changed.

Action

The Environmental Investigation Agency is campaigning on the issue: www.eia-international.org

Write to the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, calling for action to save India's tigers: Office of the Prime Minister of India, Souh Block, New Delhi, 110011 India

Travel Operators for Tigers aims to make wildlife tourism in India more responsible and sustainable and thereby help arrest the tiger's decline: www.toftigers.org


Don't forget: wildlife tourism is one way of ensuring that live tigers are worth more than dead ones. Visit National Parks and ask questions about the conservation work and funding. Thanks for taking the time to read this!
#53 Jul 26th, 2005, 05:24
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#53
Mikewill,
Thankyou for taking the time to type this out.It makes one sad and angry but best to be informed of the current situation.
#54 Jul 27th, 2005, 05:00
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#54
Thanks for the article. I found it part and parcel of the overall environmental "consciousness" of India. The wildlife parks were chock full of interesting birds and animals yet the tours were focused entirely on the tiger and not on it's critical ecosystem. I met with a regional conservation office in MP and again, it was "interesting". Very enthusiastic but fairly rudimentary in knowledge...with some fairly ironic plastic bag usage. Thanks for bringing this perspective to our attention. It's quite at odds with what you are led to believe through other sources.
#55 Jul 27th, 2005, 06:20
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#55
why isn't there a global hue and cry about the tiger situation in India? I remember when the alarm went up about the poaching of African elephants and much has been accomplished since then.

this situation sad and disgusting. What about eco-tourism?
My India Photos, 2005-2017
"...by any means necessary." Malcolm X
#56 Jul 28th, 2005, 00:23
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#56
You have a good point - why aren't people up in arms? Well the BBC article was a step in that direction.

Quote:
What about eco-tourism?
That's a good idea - I'm sure it's catching on....but I'm musing, does eco-tourism promote "eco-conciousness" in government or does it make tourists feel good? Why not put tourism dollars into using less plastic. But how is that possible when so many people don't have food or when it's such a thrill to actually be able to own a car....and make a living being a taxi driver? Who WOULD care about the "environment"? We got laughed at for walking (when we did) and I suspect the scornful perception was that we were too poor to drive. The tiger parks are actually a good example of eco-tourism I think though I thought it was quite contrived. There are alot of people and a tiger park can only hold so many guides and drivers. Even if every single tourist has one guide, one driver per car, and maybe an auxillary person for good luck (and that's pretty much the way it is) that's only a few hundred people and cars. Still plenty of incentive for poaching.
#57 Jul 29th, 2005, 04:06
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#57
It's certainly not an easy one. But then again few environmental issues are. I have to keep reminding myself about the huge CO2 footprint I leave by flying to India

I think eco-tourism is a good thing; there are benefits for the whole economy when we visit these places - and poachers really don't get much for killing a tiger. The money comes in further along the chain.

The point that EIA and others make about the tiger problem is that it's largely a government / bureaucracy thing. With keen, committed people in post, tiger numbers go up fairly quickly provided that there are sufficient prey animals - which seems to be a problem in some places including Thailand. But the whole set up is not helpful. There is no standalone wildlife or conservation department - it's part of the Environment and Forests ministry where lots of the attention is actually on the forests, never mind the mines which are also part of the portfolio.

I guess one of the things we can all do directly is to lobby - as the BBC article says 'write to the PM'. The EIA site has suggestions for other ways to help and you get really cross by looking at the 1996 report on the Tiger Crisis and seeing how similar the problems were then. As a professional conservationist (hate that word) I do know that India's not alone in having organisational problems - it still often feels like pushing water uphill in England too.
#58 Jul 29th, 2005, 22:05
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#58
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Originally Posted by mikewill It's certainly not an easy one. But then again few environmental issues are. I have to keep reminding myself about the huge CO2 footprint I leave by flying to India
I was reading in the Utne reader about a site where you can calculate the CO2 effect on any flight, and then donate the # of trees needed to counteract it. it's not a huge amt of money, but this organization will go and plant the # of trees that you donate money for. It's cool. :-)

We're also thinking about creating a green roof for our house.
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