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Nov 1, 2018

Successful year but China Lifts Ban on Tiger Trade

Tigers at Tigers4Ever funded natural Waterhole
Tigers at Tigers4Ever funded natural Waterhole

We have now completed more than 12 months since the last case of wild tiger poaching in Bandhavgarh, which is quite an achievement as tiger poaching continues to increase elsewhere. Our dedicated patrollers have also achieved success in helping to eliminate retaliatory poisonings of wild tigers in Bandhavgarh for the 40th successive month. All this has only been possible due to the amazing support we have received from you throughout 2018. As the year draws to a close we must build on this success to ensure that the wild tigers of Bandhavgarh can continue to have safer wild futures.

This week, we learned the devastating news that China has revoked its 25 year ban on the use of tiger bones and rhino horn from captive bred animals in traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) used by hospitals; and has also lifted the ban on the domestic trade of antique tiger bone and rhino horn products (the Chinese Government announcement (in Chinese) can be viewed here: http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/content/2018-10/29/content_5335423.htm). This decision could have a devastating impact on wild tigers and rhinos globally as users of TCM believe that tiger bones (and rhino horn) from the wild populations have far greater medicinal potency. The fact remains that the claims of medicinal prowess from tiger bones and tiger bone wine are completely false. Poachers will now look to increase their efforts to acquire bones of elusive wild tigers knowing that rich rewards will await those who can successfully procure the much sought after commodity.

As those of you who have read our previous newsletters will know, all our projects are community focussed to ensure that those who live with wild tigers will have a vested interest in their long term survival. Our Anti-Poaching Patrols are no exception to this, as we recruit our patrollers from the villages affected by wild tiger attacks on livestock and crop raiding by herbivores. We also get uniforms and equipment for our patrollers made by businesses in the villages around the wild tiger habitat, so these businesses know that future work is dependent on the survival of wild tigers. Right now, the night-time temperatures are dropping close to freezing which makes night patrolling a challenge for our patrollers, we are addressing this by getting some warm jackets made up for the patrollers to wear whilst on duty. Each jacket costs just £15 and will last the patroller up to 3 years dependent upon snagging in the forest whilst on duty. To help us buy warm jackets like these and other equipment for the patrollers please donate now at: https://goto.gg/34704 and help us to ensure that 2019 will be another good year for wild tigers in Bandhavgarh.

In our recent report on our 2018 patrolling project: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/saving-bandhavgarhs-wild-tigers/reports/#menu we told you how our work has contributed to an overall 94% decline in poaching incidents since 2015, which compared to the rest of India, where tiger poaching is increasing, is quite remarkable. We have received recent news of even more cubs being born, in addition to the six cubs born at the onset of the monsoon,  which means another increase Bandhavgarh’s tiger numbers, and sadly puts poachers on alert especially as the tiger census results are expected to once again confirm Madhya Pradesh as the tiger state. This again increases the need for protected tiger habitat, something which we are trying to address through new projects which will help to restore depleted tiger habitat, including tree planting schemes and our waterhole project, see more at: https://goto.gg/34315, which we hope will continue to stabilise prey numbers so thatsmaller territories can be adequate for young tigers searching for new territories to establish as their own.

In 2018, our Anti-Poaching Patrols have helped to keep Bandhavgarh free of poachers’ traps; and we hope to continue this success throughout the remainder of this year, and into next year but we cannot do this without funds to keep our patrols in the field. Giving Tuesday is almost here (27 November 2018) and during the lead up to the Year End, we hope our supporters will help us to raise 50% of what we need for our 2019 patrolling - £4820 (US$6363) so that we don’t have to reduce patrolling at this critical time (with the lifting of the ban on trading tiger bones by China, see above). Remember every £20 (US$26) we raise can help us to pay the wages of a patrolling team for a day. Please help if you can at:https://goto.gg/34704. We have already increase our Quarter 4, 2018 patrolling by 20% compared to 2017 to help to address the increased risks but sustaining this will only be possible if we can raisesufficient funds to cover the increased costs going forward to keep our patrollers protecting wild tigers throughout 2019.

If you can help us to give these precious wild tigers a safer wild future, even the smallest donation can help: £10/US$13 can provide 3 hot meals each for 2 patrollers whilst they are on duty, whilst £38/US$50 will help to provide transport and fuel to get a team of 6 Anti-Poaching Patrollers to their patrolling area for the day/night. Your donations help us to feed & pay the patrollers, they also help to provide a safe haven for our patrollers, transport, fuel, and any vital equipment which needs replacing. Transport and fuel are vital tools for our patrollers who need to cover 1598 square kilometres (993 square miles) of precious tiger habitat. All donations, however large or small, will help to keep these brave men and women protecting wild tigers from perishing at the hands of humans.

We have also produced a 2019 Tigers4Ever Calendar which is available to buy from our website at: http://www.tigers4ever.org/onlineshop.html priced £9.99 plus post & packing each. This beautiful A3 full colour calendar contains 14 original images of the tigers your donations are helping to protect plus details of how our work helps to make a real difference for wild tigers. We think this could be a perfect gift for a special someone in your life who loves wild tigers.

I would like to thank you on behalf of the wild tigers, which we are keeping safe; on behalf of the patrollers we are keeping in work (and their families who have food on the table). I would also like to thank you on behalf of the wider tiger community in Bandhavgarh, which benefits from providing food/uniforms/equipment for our patrols and from the safety/education advice given by Deepak, Prahlad and our patrolling team.

Tigers4Ever 2019 Calendar
Tigers4Ever 2019 Calendar
Tigers4Ever Anti-Poaching Patrollers going to work
Tigers4Ever Anti-Poaching Patrollers going to work

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Oct 8, 2018

Poor Monsoon Rainfall - Water for Wild Tigers

Tiger cubs at man-made waterhole
Tiger cubs at man-made waterhole

We launched our campaign to provide permanent water resources for tigers and other wildlife just three months ago. It may seem strange that we start to fundraise just at the point when 99.5% of the annual rainfall in Bandhavgarh is actually falling, however, in our experience, large capital projects take time to fund so we wanted to give ourselves the best possible chance of achieving our goals. This has become even more important in the last few weeks as we learnt that for the fourth successive year inadequate rainfall has fallen during the monsoon season. This year, thankfully, the deficit wasn’t as bad as in the previous two years, none the less all deficits have consequences for wildlife. More worryingly, was the absence of rainfall throughout September which resulted in the driest September for over 10 years. For now, streams, rivers, lakes and ponds, the natural water resources are filled with up to 90% of full capacity, but these resources won’t last forever and with the next meaningful rainfall not due for 9 months, it will be another testing time for the wild tigers and other wildlife in their forest home.

Thanks to your amazing support we have raised £220 ($287) during the first three months of fundraising, which could help us to fund drilling the first 24 metres (79ft) of a borehole for our next waterhole. The monsoon rains have now ended and we must now step up our efforts to raise the remaining funds needed to build a permanent wildlife waterhole for wild tigers before the natural water resources start to dry up in January 2019. We haven’t lost any tigers to poachers or poisoners this year, but when water is in short supply human-animal conflict increases as herbivores wander into villages in search of water and eat the crops whilst there; then tigers follow in search of food and kill livestock which doesn’t run away. We have already identified two possible sites for waterholes, where there are limited natural water sources but an abundance of tigers exists, as 3 tigresses with young cubs have neighbouring territories. Providing a permanent wildlife waterhole in an area like this can save the lives of up to 15 wild tigers plus countless other wild animals which share their forest home.

On 04 October 2018, it was be exactly one year since the last tiger was killed by poachers in Bandhavgarh, whilst this was a great achievement by our patrollers it is important to remember that when the last tiger was poached she left 3 orphaned 6 month old cubs, which have survived due to interventions including a Tigers4Ever funded solar powered borehole pump to provide year round water in 2 manmade waterholes for the young tigers.

Just before the onset of the monsoon, two tigresses gave birth to three cubs each which will again increase the tiger numbers in Bandhavgarh. Tiger census results are due towards the end of this year and Madhya Pradesh is once again expected to regain its status as the tiger state, because so many tigers are surviving in Bandhavgarh. This, however, causes different issues as territorial space is at a premium and tiger-tiger conflict becomes a more frequent occurrence. We are looking at other new projects which will help to restore depleted tiger habitat, including tree planting schemes which will complement our waterhole project: https://goto.gg/34315, and help to stabilise prey numbers meaning that young tigers will need smaller territories.

We hope we can build upon the success of the two waterholes funded in 2018 by funding at least one more waterhole before the end of this year, but we cannot do this without the funds to complete the work. We need to raise £10540 (US$13800) so that we can start work before the natural water resources run dry. We will be looking at offline fundraising activities to boost funds too but hope that some of you will sign up to donate monthly and help us to benefit from matched funding bonuses at: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/water-for-bandhavgarhs-tigers/?show=recurring.

If you feel that you would like to make a difference for these precious wild tigers: £10/US$13 could help us to drill 1 metre (39.5 inches) of borehole, whilst £75/US$98 can help to pay wages to clear a site in preparation for a new waterhole to be constructed. All donations, however large or small, will help to reduce human-animal conflict and the risk of wild tigers perishing at the hands of humans.

I would like to thank you on behalf of the wild tigers, which we are keeping safe; and on behalf of the wider tiger community in Bandhavgarh, which benefits from providing equipment and labour for our waterhole projects; we couldn’t do this without you.

Links:

Oct 1, 2018

Monsoon Peak Poaching Season & Giving Wild Tigers

Cubs Orphaned by poachers learning to play fight
Cubs Orphaned by poachers learning to play fight

Thanks to the amazing support we have received from you all during the first three quarters of 2018, we are coming to the end of the monsoon period which is peak tiger poaching season in India, with the relief that thanks to our doubling of Anti-Poaching Patrols we haven’t lost any tigers to poachers or poisoners this year. We were only able to double our Anti-Poaching Patrols during the monsoon period thanks to the donations we received in the first half of 2018. The risk of snares and traps is a constant threat which is even more difficult to detect during the periods of torrential rainfall, if patrolling is reduced there is a greater chance of traps and snares being missed.

On 01 July 2018, our patrollers received our commendation for successively eliminating all instances of retaliatory poisoning of wild tigers for the third year in a row, in Bandhavgarh. This is really an achievement to be celebrated as prior to the establishment of the Tigers4Ever Anti-Poaching Patrols on 01 July 2015, retaliatory poisoning was the biggest threat which wild tigers faced in the Buffer Forests around Bandhavgarh. By completely eliminating the incidence of retaliatory poisoning incidents against tigers for the last 3 years and 3 months, we can rightly say that we are giving wild tigers a wild future. On 04 October 2018, it will be exactly one year since the last tiger was killed by poachers in Bandhavgarh, whilst this will be a great achievement on the part of our patrollers it is important to realise that when the last tigress was poached she left three orphaned cubs of just 6 months old, without the measures which were put in place to save these cubs, including a Tigers4Ever funded solar powered borehole pump to provide year round water in 2 manmade waterholes the poachers’ actions would have claimed the lives of FOUR tigers not one! So whilst we may rejoice that a year has elapsed since the last poaching incident it is tainted with sadness that these young cubs have grown up without their mother to teach them how to hunt, how to defend themselves, and how to find a territory which would be safe to call their own. The cubs have survived, but their future is by no means certain. Now our focus must be on building upon these successes to ensure that no more tigers perish at the hands of humans.

As we outlined in our last report, our patrolling has contributed to an overall 94% decline in poaching incidents since 2015, which when compared to the rest of India, where tiger poaching has been on the increase (120 reported cases of tiger poaching since 2015), it is an even more remarkable achievement. Just before the onset of the monsoon, two tigresses gave birth to three cubs each which will again increase the tiger numbers in Bandhavgarh. Tiger census results are due towards the end of this year and Madhya Pradesh is once again expected to regain its status as the tiger state, because so many tigers are surviving in Bandhavgarh. This, however, causes different issues as territorial space is at a premium and tiger-tiger conflict becomes a more frequent occurrence. We are currently looking at new projects which will help to restore depleted tiger habitat, including tree planting schemes and our waterhole project: https://goto.gg/34315, which we hope will stabilise prey numbers meaning thatsmaller territories may be adequate for young tigers searching for new territories to establish themselves in.

In the last report, we mentioned that two young tigers had been transferred to a tiger reserve in Odisha where tiger numbers were critically low; we are pleased to say that the tigers have now settled into their new territories and are hunting normally. They will continue to be monitored closely for up to year with the radio collars which were fitted on completion of the transfer, to ensure that they do not become persistent cattle hunters in the villages around the periphery of the Odisha forest.

In 2018, our Anti-Poaching Patrols have helped to keep Bandhavgarh free of poachers’ traps; and we hope we can continue this success throughout the remainder of the year, but we cannot do this without the funds to keep our patrols in the field. We need to raise £2527 (US$3350) to ensure that we don’t have to reduce our patrolling in the coming months, with every £20 (US$26) we raise ensuring that we can pay the wages of one patrolling team for a day. Please help if you can at: https://goto.gg/28767. We would like to increase our Quarter 4, 2018 by 20% compared to 2017 but this will only be possible if we can raisesufficient funds to cover the increased costs and keep the patrollers in the field for the remainder of 2018.

If you feel that you would like to make a difference for these precious wild tigers: £10/US$13 will provide 3 hot meals each for 2 patrollers whilst they are on duty, whilst £38/US$50 will help to provide transport and fuel to get a team of 6 Anti-Poaching Patrollers to their patrolling area for the day/night. All donations, however large or small, will help to keep these brave men and women protecting wild tigers from perishing at the hands of humans.

We still need £2527 (US$3350) to fund our Anti-Poaching Patrols for the rest of 2018. Each month of the year we need to raise £720/$980 (or £8640/$11400 total) to make keeping wild tigers safe possible. Please visit: https://goto.gg/28767 to help. Your donations help us to feed & pay the patrollers, they also help to provide a safe haven for our patrollers, transport, fuel, and any vital equipment which needs replacing. Transport and fuel are vital tools for our patrollers who need to cover 1598 square kilometres (993 square miles) of precious tiger habitat.

I would like to thank you on behalf of the wild tigers, which we are keeping safe; on behalf of the patrollers we are keeping in work (and their families who have food on the table). I would also like to thank you on behalf of the wider tiger community in Bandhavgarh, which benefits from providing food/uniforms/equipment for our patrols and from the safety/education advice given by Deepak, Prahlad and our patrolling team.

Links:

 
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