Thursday, May 14, 2015

Tiger Bred for Bones: Stop Killings!!!

There are more tigers in Chinese tiger farms than exist in the wild in the rest of the world.
The tigers are bred for their hides and their bones which are used in a wine. The trade in tiger parts was banned in China in 1993 but it still continues.
The Xionsen Wine Company sells bottles of eight-year-old tiger bone wine, also fortified with tiger penis, for around £200. Skins, meanwhile, have become desirable items for China’s elite, who often have a “the more endangered, the better” attitude when it comes to home decor.
The Xionsen Wine Company, which is linked to the Xiongsen Tiger and Bear Mountain Village, advertises wine in bottles shaped like tigers but not explicitly identified as containing tiger bone.
Mr Xie, who works for the company, confirmed that the wine contained tiger bone but said it wasn’t visible. “It’s banned by the government from being traded – in our wine bottles you won’t see any tiger bones,” he said. “What we do is like rubbish recycling. A tiger’s life expectancy is around 10 years; we use tigers that die of natural causes for wine producing, so we are not breaking the law.”
The Guilin Xiongsen Tiger and Bear Mountain Village is the largest tiger captivity and breeding centre, or “tiger farm”, in China. Damning reports from organisations such as the Environmental Investigation Agency have instigated waves of international uproar about the existence of the farms, at which tigers are bred, never to be released into the wild.
Grace Ge Gabriel, regional director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, recalled a visit to the Guilin farm in 1999.
“There were many Chinese tourists in the stand watching when the cow was released into the enclosure, then five or six hungry tigers were let in,” she said.
“The tigers couldn’t take down the cow. They were climbing on it, tearing at it and injuring it, but not in the critical areas. So the tigers were taken out, then a tractor came in and ran over the cow again and again and again.”
Jill Robinson, CEO of the Animals Asia Foundation charity, said she observed tiger cubs at the farm with signs of malnutrition, on display in featureless concrete dens soiled with large amounts of urine and faeces. “We also saw tigers that had been de-toothed and de-clawed being made to perform tricks such as jumping through flaming hoops, riding on balls and the backs of horses,” she said.
Brutal public displays such as the one Ms Gabriel witnessed are now rare, although last week a worker at the Guilin tiger farm said they hold two indoor tiger performances a day, “sort of like a circus”.
Now it is trade rather than tourism fuelling the 200 tiger farms still thought to be functioning in China, housing at least 5,000 tigers in total. Earlier this month, Chinese authorities admitted to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) for the first time that the country allows domestic trading of skins of captive tigers.
“A lot of the consumption of endangered species in China is wealth-driven and is tied to corruption,” Ms Gabriel said, pointing to the case of Wen Qiang, the judicial official who was executed for corruption in 2010 and was found to have rhino ivory carvings in his house when it was raided.
Further evidence of the rise of wealth-driven demand came in March, when the practice of tiger killing ceremonies in southern China was exposed. The Chinese press reported that businessmen were showing off by paying to have tigers killed at “slaughter parties” before eating them. One unnamed government official told China Daily: “A friend once telephoned me to witness the killing of tiger, but I was out of town on business and missed the opportunity.”
At least 10 tigers are thought to have been killed in this way in 2014. Shortly after the cases came to light the government announced that the consumption of endangered species would carry a jail sentence of up to 10 years.
While the government is taking some action on cracking down on the tiger trade, campaigners say that lack of legal clarity and regulation has meant that the problem hasn’t subsided. One issue is that it’s unclear whether captive-bred tigers are considered legally endangered.
“These places [tiger farms] are stockpiling dead parts in freezers,” says Debbie Banks of the EIA, who has worked undercover at tiger facilities in China. “In other countries there’s a stringent process when a tiger dies. On paper, they are supposed to wait until a tiger dies naturally but in Wenzhou and Leizhou they are being killed. There’s no national database, no DNA files or even stripe pattern files of animals in captivity.”
There is pressure from the Chinese public to ban trade, with online campaigns raising the issue, and celebrities such as Jackie Chan lending support. But tiger farms have helped give a false impression about the amount of wild tigers alive today. There are thought to be less than 4,000 wild tigers in the world: 1,000 less than the total amount of captive tigers in China.
“On a campaign website we had many comments from people saying, ‘There are many tigers’,” Ms Gabriel says. “They were referring to tigers speed-bred in farms that will never go into the wild and don’t contribute to bio-diversity conservation. There was a lack of linking these things together.
“We’ve also seen that while the younger generation in China is outraged if they know tigers are being killed for trade, they’re not so outraged if the tiger in question comes from a farm.”
While the government faces criticism for not doing enough to stop illegal trade, the recent skin trade admission at the Cites meeting has given some campaigners hope that a positive step has been made.
“It doesn’t change the law, though,” said Ms Gabriel. “It doesn’t change the regulations that are promoting this activity. But the outcome of that meeting was that domestic trade, in China or elsewhere, is going to be subject to much greater scrutiny. Like any problem, admitting it is the first step towards recovery.”

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

You are Responsible for their Killings

I am not saying that you killed a tiger or an animal but yes, you are responsible for it. You paid someone to kill this animal. YOU KILLED A TIGER.

If you can recall, when you went to purchase a leather bag, shoe or jacket. You wanted the original stuff. From where this original leather would come from? Its not manufactured somewhere in a factory. It comes from the animals you want them to kill. And one of those is TIGER. So, you are responsible.

Its not only only about the leather. Think further, you would recall some of the accessories that you wear. Many of these comes from the bones, nails etc of these beautiful animal. So, again you are the culprit.

People in many countries, drink “Tiger Wine” that is a product from Tiger bones. Tiger is killed for your drink. Then who is the culprit? Its you. Because you can enjoy, these creatures are killed by some of us only.

Only talking, blogging, joining forums and writing is not going to help any of these species. Join us to save these endangered species.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Why and How should we do it......

The tiger is not just a charismatic species. It’s not just a wild animal living in some forest either. The tiger is a unique animal which plays a pivotal role in the health and diversity of an ecosystem. It is a top predator and is at the apex of the food chain and keeps the population of wild ungulates in check, thereby maintaining the balance between prey herbivores and the vegetation upon which they feed. Therefore the presence of tigers in the forest is an indicator of the well being of the ecosystem. The extinction of this top predator is an indication that its ecosystem is not sufficiently protected, and neither would it exist for long thereafter.

If the tigers go extinct, the entire system would collapse. For example, when the Dodos went extinct in Mauritius, one species of Acacia tree stopped regenerating completely. So when a species goes extinct, it leaves behind a scar, which affects the entire ecosystem. Another reason why we need to save the tiger is that our forests are water catchment areas.

When we protect one tiger, we protect about a 100 sq. km of area and thus save other species living in its habitat. Therefore, it’s not just about saving a beautiful animal. It is about making sure that we live a little longer as the forests are known to provide ecological services like clean air, water, pollination, temperature regulation etc. This way, our planet can still be home to our children.

Spread the word: Go out loud and tell others that tigers are dying and that they need our help. You can form forums (or join existing ones) on the web for discussions and exchange views on tiger conservation. Reach school going children. WWF and so many other organisations can help you in this regard.

Be a responsible tourist: The wilderness is to be experienced and not to be disturbed and polluted. Follow the forest department guidelines when visiting any wilderness area, tiger reserve in particular. As the saying goes ‘Don’t leave thing anything behind except foot steps, and don’t take anything except memories.’

Write to the policy makers: If you are really concerned and feel that more needs to be done for tiger conservation, then write polite letters to the decision makers - the Prime Minister, the Minister for Environment and Forests or even your local MP or any other authority, believe me, If we will think that nothing is going to change, Then who will bring the change????

Informing the nearest Forest Office: If you know of any information on poaching or trade of illegal wildlife. You can also contact TRAFFIC- an organisation fighting the powerful poachers and pass on the information to them.

Reducing pressure on natural resources: By reducing the use of products derived from forests, such as timber and paper. As just like human life, The wild life also abides laws of the nature and there are consequences if you break them.

In a country of a billion + people, we have left only 1411 tigers alive. This is the outcome of some unscruplous killing of this predator. Now its just not enough by getting alarmed to this fact. We need to react and react before its too late. "THE TIGER" is our national animal and we cannot afford to be lax anymore. Its time for every INDIAN to stand up for our national animal.


Indian Relations With Tigers!!!

The Bengal tiger has been a national symbol of India since about the 25th century BCE when it was displayed on the Pashupati seal of the Indus Valley Civilisation. On the seal, the tiger, being the largest, represents the Yogi Shiva's people. The tiger was later the symbol of the Chola Empire from 300 CE to 1279 CE and is now designated as the the official animal of India.

India has about two-thirds of the world's wild tigers, according to the IUCN Cat Specialist Group. in the past, Indian censuses of wild tigers relied on the individual identification of footprints (known as pug marks), which one review criticized as inaccurate. Using modern camera trap counting methods, the landmark 2008 national tiger census report, Status of the Tigers, Co-predators, and Prey in India, published by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, estimates only 1411 adult tigers in existence in India (plus uncensused tigers in the Sundarbans).

As of June 2009, Bengal tigers are found in 37 tiger reserves spread across 17 Indian states. An area of special interest lies in North India where 11 protected areas are found in the Terai Arc, comprising dry forest foothills and dune valleys at the base of the Himalayas. "The whole idea," says Seidensticker, "is to maintain the connection between them, to create a necklace (of habitat) along the Nepal-India border, involving 1,000 miles from the Royal Chitwan National Park to Corbett National Park."

Once a royal hunting reserve, Chitwan became a national park in 1973. New economic incentives give villagers a direct stake in this renowned tourist attraction, with more than a third of revenues from park entrance fees being returned to the 300,000 people living in 36 villages in the surrounding buffer zone. As a result, locals are now creating and managing tiger habitat and consider themselves guardians of their tigers.

Rivaling Chitwan for the title of the world's best tiger habitat is the Western Ghats forest complex in western South India, an area of 14,400 square miles (37,000 km2) stretching across several protected areas. The challenge here, as throughout most of Asia, is that people literally live on top of the wildlife. The Save the Tiger Fund Council estimates that 7,500 landless people live illegally inside the boundaries of the 386-square-mile Nagarhole National Park in southwestern India. A voluntary if controversial resettlement is underway with the aid of the Karnataka Tiger Conservation Project led by K. Ullas Karanth of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

A 2007 report by UNESCO, "Case Studies on Climate Change and World Heritage" has stated that an anthropogenic 45-cm rise in sea level (likely by the end of the 21st century, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), combined with other forms of anthropogenic stress on the Sundarbans, could lead to the destruction of 75% of the Sundarbans mangroves.

While the Project Tiger initiative launched in 1972 initially reversed the species' population decline, the decline has resumed in recent years; India's tiger population decreased from 3,642 in the 1990s to just over 1,400 from 2002 to 2008. Since then, the Indian government has undertaken several steps to reduce the destruction of the Bengal tiger's natural habitat in India. In May 2008, forest officials at the Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, India spotted 14 tiger cubs. In June 2008, a tiger from Ranthambore was successfully reintroduced to the Sariska Tiger Reserve.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Know About Royal Bengal Tiger !!!

The Bengal tiger, or Royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris, previously Panthera tigris bengalensis), is a subspecies of tiger, found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. According to WWF, there are about 2,100 Royal Bengal tigers in the wild today, including 1,411 in India, 450 in Bangladesh, 150 in Nepal and 100 in Bhutan.

The Bengal tiger was previously regarded as the second largest subspecies after the Siberian tiger even though recent scientific studies have shown that Bengal Tigers are, on average, larger than the Siberian Tigers. The Bengal subspecies P. tigris tigris is the national animal of Bangladesh, while at the species level, the tiger Panthera tigris is the national animal of India.

Physical characteristics
The total length (including the tail) for males is 270-367 cm, while females are 240–265 cm; the tail measures 85–110 cm long and the height at the shoulder is 90–110 cm. The average weight is 221.2 kg (487.7 lb) for males and 139.7 kg (308 lb) for females; however, those who inhabit the north of India and Nepal have an average weight of 235 kg (518 lb) for males and 140 kg (308.6 lb) for females. Its coat is a yellow to light orange, and the stripes range from dark brown to black; the belly is white, and the tail is white with black rings. A mutation of the Bengal subspecies, the white tiger, has dark brown or reddish brown stripes on a white background, and some are entirely white. Black tigers have tawny, yellow or white stripes on a black background color. The skin of a black tiger, recovered from smugglers, measured 259 cm and was displayed at the National Museum of Natural History, in New Delhi. The existence of black tigers without stripes has been reported but not substantiated.

Tiger Records
Officially, the heaviest Bengal tiger with confirmed weight was a male of 258.6 kg (570 lbs) and was shot in Northern India in 1938; however, the heaviest captive males are two tigers (M105 and M026) weighing more than 270 kg (600 lb), tagged in Nepal in 1984. The largest known Bengal tiger, measured between pegs, was a male with a head and body length of 221 cm, 150 cm of chest girth, a shoulder height of 109 cm and a tail of just 81 cm, perhaps bitten off by a rival male. This specimen could not be weighed, but it was calculated to weigh no less than 272 kg. Finally, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the heaviest tiger known was a huge male hunted in 1967, measuring 322 cm in total length between pegs (338 cm over curves) and weighing 388.7 kg (857 lb). This specimen was hunted in northern India by David Hasinger and is actually on exhibition in the Smithsonian Institution, in the Mammals Hall.

Genetic Ancestry
Bengal tigers are defined by three distinct mitochondrial nucleotide sites and 12 unique microsatellite alleles. The pattern of genetic variation in the Bengal tiger corresponds to the premise that these tigers arrived in India approximately 12,000 years ago. This recent history of tigers in the Indian subcontinent is consistent with the lack of tiger fossils from India prior to the late Pleistocene and the absence of tigers from Sri Lanka, which was separated from the subcontinent by rising sea levels in the early Holocene. However, a recent study of two independent fossil finds from Sri Lanka, one dated to approximately 16,500 years ago, tentatively classifies them as being a tiger.

A male and female tiger in India interact with each other.Tigers do not live in prides as lions do. They do not live as family units because the male plays no part in raising his offspring. Tigers mark their territory by spraying urine on a branch or leaves or bark of a tree, which leaves a particular scent behind. Tigers also spray urine to attract the opposite sex. When an outside individual comes into contact with the scent, it learns that the territory is occupied by another tiger. Male Bengal tigers fiercely defend their territory from other tigers, often engaging in serious fighting. Female tigers are less territorial: occasionally a female will share her territory with other females. If a male happens to enter a female's territory, he will probably mate with her, if she is not already pregnant or has a litter. If she is pregnant or has a litter, he has no choice but to find himself a new territory and another potential mate. Similarly, females entering a male's territory are known to mate with him. Both males and females become independent of their mother around 18 months old, whereupon the cubs have to establish their own territories and fend for themselves. A male's territory is larger than a female's territory.

Reproduction and lifecycle
Mating can occur at any time, but is most prevalent between November and April. Females can have cubs at the age of 3–4 years; males reach maturity by about 4 years old. After the gestation period of 103 days, 2-5 cubs are born. Newborn cubs weigh about 1 kg (2 lb) and are blind and helpless. The mother feeds them milk for 6–8 weeks and then the cubs are introduced to meat. The cubs depend on the mother for the first 18 months and then they start hunting on their own.

Hunting and diet
Bengal tigers are classified as obligate carnivores, meaning that they have a diet of strictly meat. Bengal tigers eat a variety of animals found in their natural habitat, including deer (sambar, chital, barasingha, hog deer and muntjac), wild boars, water buffalo, gaur, nilgai antelope, and occasionally other ungulates (such as Nilgiri tahr, serow and takin, where available); tigers have also been observed eating small prey, such as monkeys, hares, birds (primarily peafowl), and porcupines, but large and medium-sized ungulates provide the majority of biomass consumed by tigers, and are essential for their survival. Bengal tigers have also been known to take other predators, such as leopards, wolves, jackals, foxes, crocodiles, Asiatic black bears, sloth bears, and dholes as prey, although these predators are not typically a part of the tiger's diet. Adult elephants and rhinoceroses are too large to be successfully tackled by tigers, but such extraordinarily rare events have been recorded. The Indian hunter and naturalist Jim Corbett described an incident in which two tigers fought and killed a sick large bull elephant. Due to the encroachment of humans onto the Bengal tiger's habitat, Bengal tigers also eat domestic cattle. If injured, old, or weak, tigers may even consume humans. When a tiger consumes human flesh, it becomes known as a man-eater and may continue to prey on humans. The nature of the tiger's hunting method and prey availability results in a "feast or famine" feeding style. Tigers gorge themselves, often consuming 18–20 kg (40–60 lb) of meat at one time, as they may not be successful hunting again for several days. Bengal tigers prey on vulnerability, so they attack the last animal at the end of a herd, kill it, and then drag the animal's carcass to a safe location to consume it.

Population and distribution
A Bengal tigress with her cubs at the Bandhavgarh National Park, India The current population of wild Bengal tigers in the Indian subcontinent is estimated to be between 1,300 and 1,500. Of these, 1,411 are found in the wild in India while about 280 are found in Bangladesh, mostly in the Sunderbans. Over the past century tiger numbers have fallen dramatically. Of eight subspecies alive in 1900, three are now extinct and we have lost over 90 per cent of wild tigers. Poachers kill tigers not only for their pelts, but also for body parts used to make various traditional East Asian medicines. Other factors contributing to their loss are urbanization and revenge killing. Farmers blame tigers for killing cattle and shoot them. Poachers also kill tigers for their bones and teeth to make medicines that are alleged to impart the tiger's strength to the human who consumes the medicine. The hunting for Chinese medicine and fur is the biggest cause of the decline of the tigers.