International Tiger Day is an annual extravaganza to raise awareness for tiger conservation as well as its implications. This is held on the 29th of July each year as was decided in 2010 at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit.
The first & foremost query to be addressed is why so much hype on Tigers & its conservation.
In 1900, approximately 100,000 tigers were estimated to be living in the wild.
In the last 100 years,Tigers were almost on the brink of extinction as we lost more than 97% of them due to habitat loss, poaching as well as other reasons.
Out of the 3891 tigers worldwide, India is home to 2,226 wild tigers which is ⅔ of the world population followed by Russia & Indonasia.
Apart from the aesthetic beauty of the species itself, there are very crucial social economic reasons too demanding its active & responsible conservation.
A Tiger reserve is just not earmarked for the Tiger itself. They house many other animals such as the elephant, rhino, langur, barasingha, mongoose, river dolphin, olive ridley turtle, crocodile — not to speak of the millions of herbs, plants and trees.
Tigers are what conservationists scientifically term as the “UMBRELLA” species. By attempting to conserve them, we save everything beneath their ecological umbrella – everything connected to them – including the world’s last great forests, whose carbon storage mitigates climate changes.
For the benefit of the commercially inclined, a tiger reserve offers the following :
- Generation Agriculture (incidentally the famous IR-8 rice was discovered from the wild rice plants found in one such reserve)
- Fishing fuel Wood
- Fodder and Grazing
- Pollination of Plants
- Tendu Leaves
- Carbon Storage and Sequestration (vital for climate protection against global warming)
- Water and its Purification by Filtering Organic Wastes
- Soil Conservation
- Nutrient Cycling and moderation of Extreme events such as Cyclone Storms, Flash Floods.
The other important verticals are cultural ones like tourism, education, research and development, and spiritual ones (like visiting temples within some of them).
There was a recent article where Tigers were compared with Mangalyan ( India’s Mars Orbiter Mission ). The comparison may seem to be very bizarre but the new bio-economic analysis threw up interesting statistics, stating saving two big cats gives more value than the cost of India’s much-hyped maiden mission to Mars. The one-of-its kind analysis by a group of Indo-Australian team of scientists had published a paper titled ‘Making the hidden visible: Economic valuation of tiger reserves in India‘ in the journal Ecosystem Services. The team analysed the economic benefits accruing to the country from 6 Tiger reserves namely Corbett, Kanha, Kaziranga, Periyar, Ranthambore & Sundarbans. It says saving two tigers yields a capital benefit of about Rs 520 crore; in comparison ISRO’s maiden mission to mars Mangalyaan cost the country Rs 450 crore.According to the last estimate, India is home to 2,226 adult tigers which would mean a capital benefit of about Rs 5.7 lakh crore — almost equivalent to a third of the total currency that was demonetised by the government!
So conservationists say saving tigers makes a very good economic sense!
With only a few hundreds of tigers that still roam freely, the onus is on us to ensure that they continue to do so and also help in increasing their population to turn them into a thriving race yet again.
Madhya Pradesh, affectionately called as the “Tiger State of India” is abode to a significant population of India’s Tigers. Tourists & wildlife enthusiasts are drawn to Madhya Pradesh as it figures in the list of “Places to see Tigers in India”. With its expansive and dense forests and grasslands, the Heartland of India provides the perfect haven and sustenance for tigers. The state has also gained International acclaim when it was featured in the list of places from around the world that can be visited for tiger sightings.
A Trip to the National Parks of Madhya Pradesh Namely
Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Pench, Panna & Satpura will quench your thirst & portray a beautifully drawn picture of flora & fauna.
We at i4u Travels ensure that you can get your fill of tiger sighting leisurely, anytime of the year. Kanha National Park, Pench National Park and Bandhavgarh National Park are some of the more popular places that travelers keep on their radar while visiting Madhya Pradesh. Travel itineraries are designed enabling exclusive visits to the parks and the tour packages too allow a primary focus on these locations.
Bandhavgarh National Park with its dense flora provides an excellent atmosphere for tigers to reside. Spanning over an area of 446 sq kms, Bandhavgarh was awarded the status of a National Park in 1968. It is renowned for its high density of tigers and is frequented by tigers all the year round. The Park is divided into three zones (Magadhi, Tala, Khitauli) for tourists to experience the area in an enhanced manner.
Kanha National Park was officially known as a Tiger Reserve in the year 1973 and was ranked among the “Top 10 Famous Places For Tourists To Visit In India”. The area is vast and covers around 940 sq kms. Similar to Bandhavgarh Park, the area too is divided into four zones (Kanha, Kisli, Sarhi, Mukki) that allow visitors to take in the magnitude of the varieties of wildlife that have found a home in the dense deciduous forests.
Pench National Park, the final pit stop for Tiger Sighting was declared a sanctuary in 1977 and a national reserve in 1983. Though it comes later in the list of must-visit places to see tigers, it is an important place to travel to see the exclusive and nearly extinct Royal Bengal Tigers. The Park is divided into three zones (Touria, Karmajhiri, Jhamtara) and spans an area of 758 sq kms.
Safari Rides are one of the exciting ways to get around these parks and take in the exotic views that these parks have to offer. These can be pre booked and the services tailored to meet the specific demands of the clients and are the highlights of the entire trip.
i4u Travel Services is proud to be a part of TOFT – ( Travel Operators for Tigers ) and advocates & supports responsible tourism.
Come, visit Madhya Pradesh to celebrate this auspicious day and reward yourself with an experience of a lifetime amidst these mighty beasts.