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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tiger Tourism



Scene in Ranthambhore when a tiger is sighted
Pic by Susan Sharma (2005)
On 24th July, 2012 The Supreme Court  banned tourism in the core areas of India’s tiger reserves till further orders, fuelling fears among tour operators and some conservationists that people would lose the chance to watch the animals in the wild, local economies would bleed and poaching would increase.

As the first step towards eco-tourism, the top court today said that all states must notify the core and buffer areas of Parks under them.

Conservationists estimate that up to 150,000 tourists visit the Ramthambore park each year, contributing to its business revenue of Rs 60 crore.  How much of this actually trickles down to the local community is the moot issue, though.  Voices of the people living around the Park tell otherwise. ( See our film "Living with the Park").

Tour operators around the Jim Corbett Park estimate that nearly half the 90-odd hotels outside the park would shut down and hundreds of safari operators and nature guides would lose jobs if the interim order becomes the final one.

“The debate on wildllife tourism has less to do with conservation and more and more to do with issues of equity,” said M.D. Madhusudan, a wildlife biologist and director of the Nature Conservation Foundation in Mysore.

The archives of IndianWilldlifeclub contain many articles which are worth reading for those interested in a ringside view of tiger tourism.

Just write "tiger tourism" in our search button on top right hand side of http://www.Indianwildlifeclub.com and you will see  blogs, articles and chat transcripts devoted to the tiger.