For the last 6 months, we have faced an unprecedented increase in the risk of wild tigers being poached, as the world tries to find a new normal whilst COVID19 persists. The wild tiger community has been hit particularly hard due to the high proportion of workers who are daily wagers (literally, they only get paid on the days which they work). Work stopped for around 85% of the tiger community on 25 March 2020 and for most, hasn’t yet returned to a semblance of normal. Thus the increased threat of poaching as a viable source of income persists. Your support throughout this period has been tremendous, without your help we could not have increased our patrolling from April and maintained double patrolling throughout the monsoon period, so thank you for all which you have done.
Your donations have helped us to continue our outstanding record of wild tiger conservation. It’s now been more than 63 months since the last retaliatory poisoning of a wild tiger in Bandhavgarh, and will be 4 years since we last lost a tiger to a poaching incident on 02 October 2020. We could not have achieved this without your help. Without your generosity, the lives of Bandhavgarh’s wild tigers would be at risk.
Like the rest of the world, we don’t know when this COVID19 nightmare will end, and so we need to plan for our increased patrolling to continue for the foreseeable future and beyond. We are already anticipating a 56% increase in patrolling costs for 2020-21 and this could be even higher if the poaching threat increases further. Suddenly, we have had to plough all of our efforts into patrolling and keeping wild tigers out of the deadly wire snare traps which are often set for wild deer and other animals which persistently raid the crops in the villages which surround the tiger jungles of Bandhavgarh. Wild tigers are breeding right now too, we already know about 9 new cubs and we expect more to be born over the next few months as we are aware that other tigers have also mated. Keeping more tigers and their cubs safe over the coming months will be a real challenge, but it is one which we want to meet head on with your help.
As you already know, our patrollers are not only shielding Bandhavgarh’s wild tigers from poachers’ snares and traps; their presence also prevents locals from engaging in illegal activities which put wild tigers at risk. Without our patrols, the wild tiger population would face insurmountable obstacles at every turn. With only 3900 wild tigers remaining globally, every tiger’s life is precious.
Each tiger life lost threatens the longevity of the entire wild tiger population. Without our patrollers, the impact of tiger deaths will reverberate throughout the entire jungle.
Without funds, no patrols
To continue to patrol at the increased levels we’ve done since the onset of the COVID19 crisis, we need to raise at least 56% more each month. If we don’t, we’ll have no choice but to cut back or even stop our patrolling! If we stop the patrols, the wild tigers wouldn’t stand a chance against the threats exacerbated by COVID-19:
1. More human-tiger conflict
Many people in Bandhavgarh are still without regular paid work, some haven’t had any work since 25 March. Their desperate need for income to survive pushes them into wild tiger territory in search of any resources they can plunder to sell. The jungle is rich with fresh growth following the monsoon rains, grasses and trees which can be chopped down to sell as animal fodder and logs respectively, but these activities continue to put tigers and humans in danger.
Just a few weeks ago, another villager was badly mauled by a tiger whilst collecting wood from the forest, crippling another family with an uncertain future. This brings the number of tiger attacks on humans to 5 in a few short months. Wild elephant attacks on people and villages are also increasing, the threat of retaliatory aggression towards wildlife and their protectors always looms.
2. Desperate people driven to poaching
People turn to poaching because they’re forced to find a means to survive; whether they intend to kill tigers or not, the traps they lay are indiscriminate. In neighbouring, Maharashtra, tiger and leopard poaching persists; there have also been reports of tiger poaching in nearby Panna (Madhya Pradesh), just a few hundred kilometres from Bandhavgarh. Peak Poaching Season is likely to continue beyond the monsoon season, as people continue to struggle with the impact of COVID19. To ensure that our efforts to date to double the number of wild tigers in Bandhavgarh aren’t wasted, we need to keep our increased patrols going.
3. Increased illegal activity
Since the lockdown began illegal fishing activities have also increased, which decreases sources of food for the tigers’ prey, driving them to raid villagers’ crops. Our patrollers educate villagers on the impact of their actions, reminding them that every resource lost has a consequence for the animals they share their homes with. Most villagers never leave the village where they were born, nor have electricity to access to online information, so without our patrollers, many don’t realise the ripple effect of their actions.
Wild Tigers need you
Human-led patrols are the only way we can tackle human-induced issues. Without funds, we can’t meet the demand for increased patrolling; the situation in Bandhavgarh continues to be extremely dangerous for humans and tigers alike.
Every single donation will help us to save wild tigers’ lives. Did you know that giving just £10/US$13 per month can pay an anti-poaching patroller to keep wild tigers safe for more than 30 days a year? The current crisis means that we need people like you to help wild tigers in Bandhavgarh now: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/protect-bandhavgarhs-tigers-from-poachers/?show=recurring.
When you give something you are really making a difference for wild tigers now. As your donation can be the difference between life and death as it supports our increased patrolling when it is most needed. Be confident in the knowledge that by donating to a small charity like Tigers4Ever, your money has a big impact. Our Patrollers can keep wild tigers alive by educating villagers and reducing human-animal conflict. We’ll also keep you updated on how your gift has been spent.
Every tiger and every tiger cub counts. Thank you for making our fight against poachers, the changing climate and human-animal conflict possible.
Young Male Tiger Cub finding his way
A watchful Tiger crosses the forest track