Let the trees flourish and tigers will save themselves.
We read somewhere in the news that an educational institution spent INR 100,000 (around US$ 2,275) to adopt a tiger in a zoo for an year. First of all, a zoo is a very wrong place for a tiger to be in. Secondly, a zoo has funds allocated already to take care of the national animal.
We would rather this amount was spent on adopting trees in the villages. Each student of that school could have adopted a tree. You could adopt a tree and then look after it like your own child. Form a group and go to villages and forest fringe areas to educate people about saving nature to save tigers. Motivate the village folks, especially children for adopting trees in partnership with your group. Your group could provide moral support and other incentives to that person or child on the spot, who will actually save the tree.
You know, if you or your group have sufficient resources, you could even buy a piece of land and setup a plantation in partnership with the local folks. Why we are stressing partnership with local folks is that they are the ones who will ensure protection to the trees. Saving the trees will in turn save tigers.
Many of our readers have been asking what to do? There is widespread agreement and awareness of the need to save tigers, but the public needs an action plan which is not tied down by the so called red tape. Many people say they will contribute funds but have doubts if it will ever get used in the right time and manner? So, we will suggest here, things to do!
Let’s be very clear. Tiger killing is NOT the major reason for the dwindling tiger population. THE major reason is the dwindling forest cover and ever increasing encroachment of the forests by us, humans. An adult male tiger needs about 80 to 100 square kilometers forest area overlapping the area of about 2 to 3 female tigers to survive and reproduce.
What we can do? We have to educate, mold public opinion and actively participate to increase the forest cover and arrest deforestation. WE have to cut down OUR industrial and consumerist greed!
For a start, form a group of like minded people and start planting trees and protecting them. If you have lot of funds, buy out areas in the forest fringe areas and build non-commercial plantations with lot of trees. You could even pool funds if this is not possible individually. Create a society or trust and do this!
Please also see some of our past comments in the below pages for more ideas.