Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers

by Tigers4Ever
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Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
A young cub keeps careful watch
A young cub keeps careful watch

Can I start this project update newsletter by thanking every single one of you for your amazing support over the last year; we’ve all been impacted in one way or another by COVID19 but you have helped us to undertake double patrolling when it was most needed, despite your own personal pressures. In this time, we have seen India enter total lockdown, resume some sense of normality for its domestic population then spiral into another full lockdown as the third wave of COVID19 claims at least 2000 lives per day.

The wild tigers and our patrollers have experienced some tough times too as poaching and retaliatory poisonings once again started to increase; forest fires raged for 4 days and four nights at the end of the Holi celebrations and as we looked forward to Easter; last week the tail end of cyclone Tautkae whilst this week our patrols are bracing themselves for the impact of cyclone Yaas. These cyclones have brought unseasonably cold weather and torrential rainfall at a time when baking heat and parched landscapes are the norm. The rainfall and cooler temperatures are welcomed by some but bring additional challenges and dangers for our anti-poaching patrollers as visibility is greatly reduced and lightning fells the trees around them. With more than a third of wild tiger habitat decimated by the recent forest fires and over 35000 animals either killed, maimed or displaces by the flames, the rainfall brings hope of some seed germination and new shoots for the starving prey animals to eat.

Poachers Strike Again

The latest COVID19 lockdown has also brought some bad news as both pangolin and tiger poachers stepping up their evil activities. Just a few weeks ago patrollers caught a gang of pangolin poachers red-handed in the Manpur buffer forest; they were promptly arrested and charged. Then last week, a young male wild tiger was poached in the same buffer forest just a few kilometres from the first incident, sadly the poachers absconded with some body parts from the dead tiger leaving his carcass to be discovered by the morning patrols. This was devastating news after 43 months without a tiger poaching incident and a reminder that since the outset of the COVID pandemic that the risk of wild tigers being poached is extremely high. We have already increased our patrolling again and are currently patrolling at two and a half times the normal levels for this time of year, but we realise with the monsoon season just around the corner that the risk will increase again and we’re already considering triple patrolling throughout the monsoon period, subject to raising sufficient funds.

Despite the current lockdown situation in India, poachers are still active so our patrollers need to be equally active too, if we are to keep the wild tigers and their cubs safe. To ensure that we can undertake triple patrolling throughout the monsoon peak poaching season we will need to raise a total of £3930 (US$5465) or £700 (US$971) over and above what we raise for two and a half times patrolling. There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for the current wave of COVID19 in India so we anticipate that our patrolling will still need to be increased post monsoon too.

Making a Difference

As always, our anti-poaching patrols are working flat out to mitigate the risks caused by increased human encroachment levels and the in poaching activity in the neighbouring states and Madhya Pradesh. We don’t always get it right as the recent poaching incident has shown, but we always try to do more and better when the worst happens, so we hope we can rely on your continued loyal support. The forest fires brought increased incidence of both tiger-tiger and human-animal conflict so our patrols are doing everything they can to reduce the risk of retaliatory poisonings too, meanwhile we are planning to start drilling at our next waterhole project as soon as we can get permission for the team of workers to enter the jungle (as COVID lockdown measures are currently preventing this). This will also help to alleviate some of the conflict issues caused by the displacement of wildlife following the fires.

The only way we can address the increased threat of poaching and retaliatory poisoning is to keep our patrolling at the highest possible levels (2.5 times or triple patrolling) until at least the end of October 2021, when hopefully the COVID vaccination rollout will help to alleviate the economic burden of COVID19, and hopefully the children of the villages will be able to return to school for the first time in over 15 months.

With triple patrols, we can cover an extra 1000km (624 miles) per month of wild tiger territory over and above the 1.5 times patrolling we were doing at this time last year. The increase also means more time will be spent looking for snares; traps and signs of would be poisoners around forest areas where human encroachment is rife. Increased patrols also help to curb the dangerous encroachment into the territories of wild tigers which is still increasing, and to provide safety advice for those trying to protect their crops and livestock from wandering elephants and tigers respectively.

Wild Tigers are Amazing

It isn’t all bad news though, one tigress known as Tara has 4 young cubs and despite the forest fires raging throughout and destroying almost her whole territory, she rescued and kept all four cubs safe. Proof in itself that wild tigers are truly remarkable animals and capable of beating the odds if given half a chance. We reported in our last project report that at least eight more tiger cubs had been born and we’re delighted to say that these are all safe and doing well for now.

Your Support is Amazing Too

To implement and sustain another increase in our patrolling, we need to ask for your help again. Your gift today can make a huge difference as to whether Bandhavgarh’s wild tigers can survive these unprecedented threats:

  • A gift of £20 ($28) will help us to pay a patrolling team for a day
  • A gift of £30 ($42) will provide hot nutritious meals whilst they are on duty for a day
  • A gift of £40 ($56) will ensure that we can transport a team of anti-poaching patrollers to a remote location for a day’s patrolling
  • A gift of £100 ($139) will ensure that a team of patrollers can cover 125km (78 miles) of wild tiger territory in a day
  • A gift of £500 ($695) will ensure that we can increase of patrolling levels to the highest level for one month.

If we don’t act now, we are sure that the lives of more tigers and more humans will be lost, and with every loss of human life comes another threat to the tiger’s survival in the wild, thus we must protect both if we are to ensure that wild tigers will have a wild future.

Every single donation received will help us to save wild tigers’ lives, no matter how large or small. The current crisis means that we need your help like never before: https://goto.gg/28767.

Please don’t hesitate if you can help, your donation can be the difference between life and death for a wild tiger, as it helps to increase our patrolling when it is most needed. Every tiger and every tiger cub counts. Thank you for making our fight against poachers, the changing climate and human-animal conflict possible.

Forest Fires Rage on
Forest Fires Rage on
Smoke Fills Bandhavgarh Skies
Smoke Fills Bandhavgarh Skies

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Tigress with 4 Small Cubs
Tigress with 4 Small Cubs

Your amazing support over the last three months has helped us to resume double patrolling when it was most needed; we asked for your help to keep our patrols doubled until the end of December 2020 and your support has meant that we have kept this going throughout January 2021 too. Thank you on behalf of the wild tigers which your support is helping us to keep safe.

Globally, we are in unprecedented times, the same applies for the wild tigers in India too where human encroachment and human-animal conflict are still at very high levels. Only two weeks ago we received news of a young girl mauled and killed by a wild tiger whilst in the forest in the twilight hours and a tiger which fell into an open well in a village whilst chasing a chital (spotted deer). The latter resulted in a night long rescue operation, at the end of which the young tigress was safely released back into the forest, which was a tremendous relief. Congratulations to all those involved in the rescue operation, a job well done. It does, however, raise the question about making more of these open wells safer to reduce the likelihood of future incidents like this. We have already spoken to another charity with experience in this area, and they are looking into ways in which they can help by erecting walls around the wells or providing some kind of mesh covering to cover the opening.

Our anti-poaching patrols are working flat out to mitigate the risks caused by increased human encroachment levels and the rumours of an increase in poaching activity in the neighbouring states and even in the last week in Kanha National Park (Madhya Pradesh) where a young tigress was killed by a wire snare intended to poach wild boar and deer for their meat. The people from the villages around Bandhavgarh are still suffering from the economic consequences of COVID19 and continue to put their own lives at risk by going deeper and deeper into the forest in search of something to eat or sell, the death and injury toll over the last few months continues the unprecedented trend we reported in our last project report:

  • A school building and several farm buildings have been destroyed by marauding elephants;
  • A single village lost 12 cows in a week due to attacks by displaced tigers and another village lost 3 cows in 5 days to attacks by a single tiger.
  • Two elephants from the Bandhavgarh herd had wandered many miles away towards Jabalpur but were killed by tethered snares laid by villagers disgruntled by the damage they had done to their sugar cane crops.
  • A mahout of over 20 years’ service in the forest department took his own life just before Christmas because he couldn’t afford to feed his family.
  • A 15 year old girl was mauled and killed by a tiger in the Panpatha buffer on 20 December and the angry villagers subsequently mounted an attack of Forest Department patrollers in retaliation on both 22 and 23 December, demanding that something must be done to remove the tiger.
  • One of our own anti-poaching patrollers was charged by a tigress (who was protecting her 3 cubs) as he returned home from his patrolling duties on Christmas Eve. Thankfully, he remembered his training and attributed it to saving his life. The tigress and her cubs also returned to the forest unharmed.
  • Nine people from the villages in the buffer zones were mauled by tigers in separate incidents between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. Mostly the victims were wood collectors/cutters but two of them were picking amla fruit. Six different tigers have been implicated in the attacks.
  • 15 cows from 3 villages have been killed already in 2021 so unrest in the villages is still high.

The only way we can address these issues is to keep our patrolling at monsoon levels (double patrolling) until at least the end of April 2021, when hopefully the COVID vaccination rollout will help to alleviate the economic burden of COVID19, and hopefully the children of the villages will be able to return to school for the first time in over a year.

With increased patrols, we can cover an extra 500km (312 miles) of wild tiger territory over and above what we were able to do in October when tragedy struck for a tigress and her cubs. The increase also means more time will be spent looking for snares; traps and signs of would be poisoners around forest areas where human encroachment is rife. Increased patrols also help to curb the dangerous encroachment into the territories of wild tigers which is still increasing, and to provide safety advice for those trying to protect their crops and livestock from wandering elephants and tigers respectively.

It isn’t all bad news though, this week we received news that one tigress has 4 new cubs of 4 to 5 weeks old, a second tigress has 3 cubs of around 2 months old and a third tigress has recently given birth but nobody has seen the cubs yet because it is too soon for her to let them leave the protection of the birthing den. We do know that we have at least eight more tigers to keep safe now in addition to all the others.

The only way we can sustain this increase in our patrolling is to ask for your help, again, knowing that your gift today can make a huge difference as to whether Bandhavgarh’s wild tigers can survive these unprecedented threats:

  • A gift of £20 ($26) will help us to pay a patrolling team for a day
  • A gift of £30 ($39) will provide hot nutritious meals whilst they are on duty for a day
  • A gift of £40 ($52) will ensure that we can transport a team of anti-poaching patrollers to a remote location for a day’s patrolling
  • A gift of £100 ($130) will ensure that a team of patrollers can cover 125km (78 miles) of wild tiger territory in a day
  • A gift of £500 ($650) will ensure that we can increase of patrolling levels to the highest level for one month.

If we don’t act now, we are sure that the lives of more tigers and more humans will be lost, and with every loss of human life comes another threat to the tiger’s survival in the wild, thus we must protect both if we are to ensure that wild tigers will have a wild future.

Every single donation received will help us to save wild tigers’ lives, no matter how large or small. The current crisis means that we need your help like never before: https://goto.gg/28767.

Please don’t hesitate if you can help, your donation can be the difference between life and death for a wild tiger, as it helps to increase our patrolling when it is most needed. Every tiger and every tiger cub counts. Thank you for making our fight against poachers, the changing climate and human-animal conflict possible.

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Wild Tigress with 2 cubs
Wild Tigress with 2 cubs

Barely a week has passed since our last project report, and not even a month has lapsed since we took the difficult decision to scale back our patrolling to pre-monsoon levels, a costly decision it seems as for the first time in 66 months we have lost two wild tigers to retaliatory poisonings, what is worse the death toll could rise further as the dead tigress had four cubs and only one was found at the scene of the poisoning. Despite extensive searches over the last few days, only two cubs have been sighted, as the days move forward the chances of finding the third alive diminish further.

How could this happen? Well, the simple answer is that our patrols have been overwhelmed. Reducing the patrolling by 33%, as we were forced to do to avoid running out of funds, has meant a 500km (312 mile) reduction in the area covered by our patrols during October. It isn’t just the impact of the reduction in patrolling which is hitting hard; it is also the impact of unprecedented encroachment levels in the forest, as people who have lost income due to the enforcement of COVID19 measures struggle to survive. These people are putting their lives at risk by going deeper and deeper into the forest in search of something to sell, the death and injury toll over the last month reads like nothing we’ve known in over 10 years since we established Tigers4Ever:

  • A 40 year old female killed by a startled tiger whilst picking fruit deep into the tiger’s territory;
  • A 3 year old tigress (mother of 3 cubs) killed in a territorial fight with another tigress because she’d moved her cubs due to human encroachment in her territory;
  • Two 4 week old tiger cubs killed by jackals when their mother left them in an unsafe den because human fruit pickers were in her territory;
  • A pregnant leopard killed by a tiger because human encroachment forced it into the tiger’s territory;
  • A 41 year old man mauled whilst fruit pricking by a tigress protecting her cubs from encroaching humans;
  • A 42 year old man killed by wild elephants whilst trying to protect his crops;
  • An 8 year old tigress and 18 month old cub killed by villagers who poisoned the carcass of a domestic cow which the tigress had taken, a further 18 month old cub missing presumed dead;
  • Four more villagers mauled by the same tigress protecting her cubs from the encroaching fruit pickers;
  • The rice crops of 8 villages totally decimated by marauding elephants.

The only way we can address these issues is to increase our patrolling back up to the monsoon levels (double patrolling) until at least the end of this year. If we can increase our patrols, we can cover an extra 500km (312 miles) of wild tiger territory, looking for snares, traps and signs of would be poisoners. Increased patrols would also help to prevent the dangerous encroachment into the territories of wild tigers which is increasing daily and to provide safety advice for those trying to protect their crops and livestock from wandering elephants and tigers respectively.

The only way we can do this is by increasing our funding by a further £1500 as soon as possible, to do this we need your help. Your gift today can make a huge difference:

  • A gift of £20 ($26) will help us to pay a patrolling team for a day
  • A gift of £30 ($39) will provide hot nutritious meals whilst they are on duty for a day
  • A gift of £40 ($52) will ensure that we can transport a team of anti-poaching patrollers to a remote location for a day’s patrolling
  • A gift of £100 ($130) will ensure that a team of patrollers can cover 125km (78 miles) of wild tiger territory in a day
  • A gift of £500 ($650) will ensure that we can increase of patrolling levels to the highest level for one month.

If we don’t act now, we are sure that the lives of more tigers and more humans will be lost, and with every loss of human life comes another threat to the tiger’s survival in the wild, thus we must protect both if we are to ensure that wild tigers will have a wild future.

Every single donation received will help us to save wild tigers’ lives, no matter how large or small. The current crisis means that we need your help like never before: https://goto.gg/28767.

Please don’t hesitate if you can help, your donation can be the difference between life and death for a wild tiger, as it helps to increase our patrolling when it is most needed. Every tiger and every tiger cub counts. Thank you for making our fight against poachers, the changing climate and human-animal conflict possible.

Funeral for Poisoned Tigers
Funeral for Poisoned Tigers

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A young cub watches from the safety of his den
A young cub watches from the safety of his den

Firstly, I want to apologise for mentioning COVID19 again, I know that like many people you must have had your fill of this never-ending virus by now! In our defence, it is hard not to mention it, as we are well into the seventh month of peak poaching season (something which is normally from the end of June to the beginning of October) with no end in sight. Both human-animal conflict and tiger-tiger conflict have increased massively in recent months as humans delve further and further into the jungles in search of something to sell and tigers push into each other’s territory to try to avoid the human impacts on their hunts. Each morning when the phone rings, I pray that it won’t be news of another tiger killed in a territorial fight or a human mauled to death whilst picking fruit, incidents which are sadly on the increase too.

Your support and donations over the last six months have been truly amazing, thank you. Without you we couldn’t have sustained our increased patrolling until now. As the colder weather arrives in Bandhavgarh over the coming months, we will face new challenges in circumstances of familiar risk, as early morning mists hide the movement at ground level but also increase the risk of a hidden snare or trap staying out of sight. The increased human presence in the forest makes it easier for poachers to move around disguised as fruit pickers but with ulterior motives. Our patrols need to be on high alert around the clock to ensure any such devices are found and destroyed before they can cause harm to wild tigers. Keeping the increased patrolling in place whilst these risks persist is absolutely essential to keep wild tigers safe.

On 01 October 2020, the National Parks around India opened their gates to tourism and normally this would mark the end of Peak Poaching Season and a return to normal measures, but due to the impact of COVID19, there are very few tourists around – they are either too afraid to travel; unable to travel due to local restrictions; or unable to travel due to international restrictions. The impact of all of these is the same, with only 10% of normal tourism levels there is still a 90% reduction in paid employment for those living with wild tigers, thus they enter the forest to plunder its “free” resources to sell and put food on their tables. With so many more people in the forest the scarce resources are being quickly depleted, forcing people deeper into the forest where they risk not only their own lives but those of the wild tigers too. 

These human encroachments continue to threaten the wild tigers and their habitat on a daily basis, thus escalating the need for increased patrolling to continue indefinitely. Increased patrolling is fine in principle, we have enough registered patrollers to cover the extra shifts, the problem comes with the increased cost of the additional patrolling, from April to June our patrolling costs increased by 60% compared to the costs we had budgeted for and from July to October our costs were doubled, meaning that in little over 7 months our patrolling costs to date are slightly more than our usual costs for a year. Thankfully, we managed to get a GlobalGiving Micro-grant of $1000 to help us with the initial impacts of COVID19, since June, your generosity has helped us to keep our outstanding record of tiger conservation going, as it’s been over 66 months since the last retaliatory poisoning of a tiger in Bandhavgarh, and more than 4 years since we last lost a tiger to a poaching incident. Without your support and generosity, the lives of Bandhavgarh’s wild tigers would be at risk.

We need to be honest with you about the severity of what we’re facing in the coming months: we are already anticipating at least a 56% increase in patrolling costs for 2020-21 and this could be even higher if the increased poaching threat continues into 2021. Right now, all of our efforts are focused on our patrolling and keeping wild tigers out of the deadly wire snare traps which are often set for crop raiding wild deer and other herbivores. As the monsoon drew to a close, more and more cubs are leaving their mothers’ dens as they learn to explore their jungle home and follow their parents’ hunts. Some wild tigers are still breeding right now, so we know that more new cubs will be born over the next few months, too. This makes it even more important to keep our increased patrolling to ensure that these tigers and their cubs are safe over the coming months, a real challenge, but one we’re confident that we can deliver on with your continued help.

As you already know, our patrollers are not only shielding Bandhavgarh’s wild tigers from poachers snares and traps; their presence helps to prevent locals from engaging in illegal activities which put wild tigers at risk. Without our patrols, Bandhavgarh’s wild tiger population would face insurmountable obstacles at every turn.

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 do this, we’ll have no choice but to cut back or even stop our patrolling! If we stop the patrols, the wild tigers won’t stand a chance against the threats exacerbated by COVID-19:


1. More human-tiger conflict  

Many people in Bandhavgarh still lack regular income; some haven’t had paid work since 25 March 2020! Their desperate need for income to survive causes them to risk their own lives as they encroach into wild tiger territory to search for anything they can sell. The jungle is rich with fresh growth following the monsoon rains, fruit, grasses and trees which can be chopped down to sell as food, animal fodder and logs respectively, but as the encroachment goes deeper into the forest, the lives of both tigers and humans are in danger. 


In the last few weeks, we’ve seen a woman mauled to death by a tiger whilst she was picking amla fruit, a farmer was trampled to death by wild elephants and another villager was badly mauled by a tiger whilst deep into tiger territory collecting amla fruit to sell, he remains in hospital in a critical condition as I write this report. The consequences of these animal attacks are crippling more families with uncertain futures. This brings the number of tiger attacks on humans to 7 in a few short months, compared with 2 in 14 months prior to the COVID lockdown. Wild elephant attacks on people, villages, and crops have been continuous throughout the last week, with whole crops decimated, 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 has been on the increase throughout the COVID19 lockdown; this week, 3 tiger poachers were apprehended in nearby Panna (Madhya Pradesh), just a few hundred kilometres from Bandhavgarh, after a month long search. Peak Poaching Season is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, 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. 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 £20/US$26 can pay an anti-poaching patrol team to keep wild tigers safe for a day? The current crisis means that we need people like you to help wild tigers in Bandhavgarh now: https://goto.gg/28767.

Your donation can be the difference between life and death for wild tigers, 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 huge 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.

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Tiger cubs in Tigers4Ever Waterhole
Tiger cubs in Tigers4Ever Waterhole

Your donations have helped us accomplish an outstanding record of conservation. It’s been over 5 years since the last retaliatory poisoning of a tiger in Bandhavgarh, and more than 44 months since we last lost a tiger to a poaching incident. We’re extremely grateful for your generosity; without you, the lives of Bandhavgarh’s wild tigers would be at risk.

 

We need to be honest with you about the severity of what we’re facing in the coming months: In the past two months, we’ve only generated enough to fund our patrols for 5 days in total. We’re now in monsoon peak poaching season and we have to ramp up our patrols to curb the increased risks to wild tigers which will be present every day for three months.

Our patrollers are shielding Bandhavgarh’s wild tigers from poachers; protecting tigers against snares and traps; their presence 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. When a tigress is killed, a litter of up to 6 cubs will face almost impossible odds of survival, which probably results in the death of up to seven tigers. The situation is even worse when an alpha male tiger is killed because another tiger will kill all of his cubs meaning that a single poaching incident could be responsible for 30 wild tiger deaths. Each lost life threatens the longevity of the entire wild tiger population. Without our patrollers, the impact of tiger deaths will reverberate throughout the entire jungle.


No funds, no patrols

If we don’t start pulling in a steady stream of funds, we’ll have no choice but to stop our patrolling. If we stop the patrols, the tigers won’t stand a chance against the threats  exacerbated by COVID-19:

1. More human-tiger conflict  

Most of Bandhavgarh’s population hasn’t had paid work since the 25th of March. Their desperation for income to survive has propelled them into tiger territory in search of any resources they can sell. The jungle is rich with mahua flowers and tendu leaves that can be picked, and wood that can be chopped, but both of these activities put tigers and humans in danger.

Five days after Chinta, a patroller, was killed by a wild tiger, an 18-year-old girl bled to death after being struck by a tiger who mistook her for a deer while she was picking mahua flowers at dawn. Ten days later, another villager was badly mauled while collecting mahua flowers, crippling another family with an uncertain future.

People are using the cover of the recent thunderstorms to forage for wood to sell, hoping their tracks will be washed away. Woodcutting and logging don’t just destroy the forest habitat, they reduce the available food resources of browsers such as Nilgai, deer and monkeys. These prey animals enter the villages in search of food, and decimate the crops of poor rural people. Tigers, and other predators, follow their prey and kill domestic animals as their native prey flee. To protect their livelihoods, villagers retaliate by laying traps to kill the animals which cause them such hardship, including tigers, which has a destructive domino-effect for an already precarious ecosystem.

2. Desperate people driven to poaching

In a neighbouring state, Maharashtra, there have been 6 tigers and 8 leopards caught in poachers’ traps in the last few weeks. Peak Poaching Season is already here. A wave of poaching activity is set to sweep the jungle across India, taking the lives of innocent tigers with it in excruciatingly painful ways. To ensure that our efforts to double the number of wild tigers in Bandhavgarh aren’t wasted, we must step up our patrols.

 

Rural people turn to poaching because they’re forced to find a means to survive. Whether they intend to kill a tiger or not, the traps they lay are indiscriminate. Tigers are a

valuable export on the black market. Their skin, teeth, claws, bones, meat and blood will bring poaching cartels a significant bounty when traded in circles where such artefacts bring prestige. But for the poor rural villagers who risk their lives to snare the tiger, it may bring enough money to feed their family for between 6-12 months. Our patrollers, also educate the villagers they encounter about the consequences of their actions on the forest, the tigers, other animals and even their own livelihoods; they ensure that the villagers know that wild tigers are vital to the survival of the rural people because without apex predators herbivore populations will boom and when they have insufficient food, eating human crops will become the norm. So, without our patrollers to eliminate these traps, we would lose even more endangered tigers and potentially their forest homes too.


3. Increased illegal activity


Recently, forest fires caused by carelessness whilst trying to make fire breaks have also kept our patrols busy. When strong winds cause these fires to get out of control, swathes of precious forest habitat are destroyed. Quick action by our patrollers can save the lives of many critically endangered forest dwellers who simply cannot escape in time. When these fires occur, our patrollers have to put their search for snares on hold to help quell the fires, which could mean a tiger will wander into an undetected snare. Increasing our patrols will mitigate this risk.

Since the lockdown began illegal fishing activities have also increased, which decreases food sources for the tigers’ prey, and drives them to raid peoples’ crops. Our patrollers educate villagers on the impact of this, reminding them that every resource lost has a consequence for the animals they share their homes with. Most villagers never leave the village or have electricity to access to online information, so without our patrollers, many don’t know 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 and right now, the situation on the ground is extremely dangerous for humans and tigers alike.

Every single donation https://goto.gg/28767 no matter how small, helps to save lives. Our online store is full of merchandise, with donations being made towards protecting wild tigers from every item sold .


Your donation could really make the difference between life and death – by increasing patrolling cycles, by educating villagers, and by reducing the factors which contribute to human-animal conflict.  Be confident in the knowledge that by donating to a small charity like Tigers4Ever, your money has a big impact, and we’ll keep you updated on how your money has been spent.

Every tiger and every tiger cub counts. Thank you for standing with us in our fight against poachers, the changing climate, and human-animal conflict.

Ringing destroys healthy trees in tiger forests
Ringing destroys healthy trees in tiger forests

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Organization Information

Tigers4Ever

Location: Warrington - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Tigers4Ever2010
Project Leader:
Corinne Taylor-Smith
Dr
Warrington, Cheshire United Kingdom
$25,965 raised of $29,500 goal
 
611 donations
$3,535 to go
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