Friday, 17 June 2016

Save the Big Cat

Photo Credits: Bob Barton

India, once a home for more than 40,000 tigers, is now headed to become a barren place for not just the tigers, but also for several other species. The current census of tiger population estimates to roughly about 2,000. The hunters in the older times, and now the poachers have hampered the growth of tiger ecology immensely. Along with them, we, the general public, are no less than brutal for our greed never has an end. We are responsible for felling of trees, appropriation of forest areas, setting up of radiation towers wherever we can (cellphones and internet facilities have become our "need"), and turning a blind eye towards the ill maintenance of reserves.

Photo Credits: D. Yogananda Rao

The big cat can survive through the 21st century, provided we take certain measures immediately. It demands us to know the tiger behaviour (its nature, predatory nature, diet and habitat adjustments) for us to understand about the tiger's environment. Unlike lions who prefer open lands and are always seen in a pride - tigers go solitary, they prefer much dense forest areas and avoid any human contact. The summer season is taxing for them, for it is the time when they need abundant water supply, but it is also the time when most water reserves dry up completely.

Photo Credits: David Whelan

There is a great imbalance in our ecosystem, and if not now, then it will be too late for us to rectify it later. Here is an effective comment by Paul Ehrlich (Population Biologist), who illustrates the danger of potential species losses by using a dramatic example: ... the ecosystem is like an airplane in which we are passengers. We can go on removing the rivets that hold the planes wings up, one by one, for quite a while. While no single rivet may determine when we will crash, ultimately one particular rivet surely will. Each species that we extirpate is like one more rivet pulled out from our plane.

Photo Credits: Chris Godfrey

We must, however, understand and agree to the fact that the minimal tiger population that is there is actually beneficial to us. The forest that clothe the tigers are actually the watershed resources for many parts in Asia. Expanding the tigers' home range must be our prime motto. The government must take reasonable and accurate measures to evacuate the nearby villages so that the tiger walks can be elaborated.

Photo Credits: Edo Schmidt

Yet another concern is the tiger's diet. Tigers kill prey that are larger than themselves, and in order to keep this energy and stamina in them there has to be a balance between the densities of predators and preys. Invariably, if we have to save our big cat, we must also take proper measures to save the other animals in our ecosystem. Everything in this world is interconnected and interdependent, it is only the members of the human race who have taken much to themselves though it never belonged to them.

Photo Credits: Indi S. Papke

The present generation is lucky enough to see tigers in real, but if we do not answer to the tigers' plight now, then the future generation would never know what magnanimity a creature possessed, and it will only become a matter of past tense to say how majestically the tigers had once walked the earth.

Photo Credits: Srinivas Shamachar

The heart roars in grandeur, the mighty soul walks the earth, the radiant fire is stacked in the eyes and with boundless courage the stripes rule our imagination.

Photo Credits: 1, 2 and 3. D. Yogananda Rao; 4. Srinivas Shamachar; 5, 6 and 7. Suhasini Srihari

Photo Credits: 1. Michael Vickers; 2. Monika Allemann; 3. Sachin Rai; 4. Shirley Kroos; and 5. Marion Sempf


Arun said...

We need to really look for practical side. In a recent incident in Hyderabad Zoo made people worry about animals if kept away from wild are losing their self.

Suhasini Srihari said...

This is our first terrible mistake of bringing the wild into domestic, which is against nature's law!

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