Source AP ©

India's tiger population decreases 5 percent sharply

A top India’s conservationist said Friday that the Asian nation is considering reinforcing measures to protect tigers – the country is looking to recruit a top police officer and retired soldiers.

Rampant poaching and loss of habitat have devastated the wild tiger population in India, which a century ago was believed to number in the tens of thousands.

A survey by the Wildlife Institute of India says there are no more than 1,500 tigers in India's reserves and jungles - down from about 3,600 just five years ago. The survey was presented Thursday to a National Wildlife Board meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The numbers released Thursday confirm fears expressed when initial results from the study were reported in May.

One measure proposed by the survey says a police official should be put in charge of the Wildlife Crime Bureau, established to halt the killings and punish poachers.

"There would be an immediate creation of a tiger protection force and a senior policeman will head the new Wildlife Crime Bureau, which has been headless for the past few months," said Valmik Thapar, one of India's leading tiger experts, who attended Thursday's meeting.

The study also recommended setting up a stronger force - to include retired army personnel - to buttress existing tiger protection measures and protect reserves.

Thapar, who has been a fierce critic of government policy, said the measures being taken could be the "beginning of a new era in wildlife conservation where the government, non-governmental organizations and individual conservationists work together."

The study said the greatest loss of tigers was not from the reserves but from areas outside where the tigers ranged.

The population in tiger reserves and protected areas has changed marginally, but in unprotected forests it has sharply declined because of the degradation of habitat and other factors, the study said.

Conservationists also attributed the drop in numbers to earlier faulty estimates.

"The earlier tiger census figures were exaggerated because there was a tendency that if you are a manager of a tiger reserve, if you did a census and showed a lower number, your knuckles were rapped," said Belinda Wright, director of the Wildlife Protection Society of India.

Wright said India needs much better enforcement, infrastructure, training, accountability and for its Wildlife Crime Bureau to be truly functional.

"This is not just an issue for India. The whole world is watching to see how India deals with this crisis. We are talking about the most charismatic mammal on this planet," she said.

The last major tiger census relied on estimating the population by examining footprints. The current study is far more extensive and accurate, using camera "traps" triggered by passing animals, as well as hundreds of wildlife officers tracking the animals through droppings and footprints, Wright said.

World's most powerful nuclear submarines, Arkhangelsk and Severstal, are to be dismantled after 2020 - their further exploitation is unprofitable

Russia gets rid of world’s most powerful nuclear submarines

The United States' Head of Diplomacy, or Secretary of State, is an anachronistic, incompetent, meddling, intrusive, insolent and arrogant, rude individual, a brash, foul-mouthed upstart, a conceited, self-important guttersnipe and an insult to the international community, as fit for the job as a pedophile janitor in a grade school.

Tillerson must go!
Comments
North Korea and Double Standards. Vancouver Conference a Missed Opportunity.
Tillerson must go!
Tillerson must go!
Honor me: The hell with you
What will happen if USA freezes Russian dollar assets?
Russian Guard to see enemies behind walls
Putin celebrates Epiphany bathing in ice cold waters
Russia gets rid of world’s most powerful nuclear submarines
Russian Guard to see enemies behind walls
Tillerson must go!
Turkey distances itself from Russia to plunge Syria into greater chaos
Tillerson must go!
Torturing Jerusalem with USA's help: No peace, but eternal war for Jews and Arabs
North Korea and Double Standards. Vancouver Conference a Missed Opportunity.
North Korea and Double Standards. Vancouver Conference a Missed Opportunity.
Turkey distances itself from Russia to plunge Syria into greater chaos
Turkey distances itself from Russia to plunge Syria into greater chaos
North Korea and Double Standards. Vancouver Conference a Missed Opportunity.
North Korea and Double Standards. Vancouver Conference a Missed Opportunity.
Ukraine's Western allies point their guns at President Poroshenko
Ukraine's Western allies point their guns at President Poroshenko