Report on tiger poaching highlights disturbing trends

  • September 30, 2014

A recent report* looking at tiger poaching and trafficking in India has highlighted some disturbing trends and includes the identification of 73 districts of India being identified as tiger crime hotspots.

An abstract from the report shows that poaching, prey depletion and habitat destruction have decimated the world’s wild tiger population to fewer than 3200–4000.

“Despite focused efforts, poaching continues to be the key threat to tiger populations in India, home to more than half of the world’s tigers. A rise in the number of incidences of tiger poaching and trafficking may not essentially represent an increase in the actual occurrence of tiger poaching and trafficking, but can instead be an indication of better enforcement. With ad hoc detection rates, it becomes difficult to estimate the true quantum of poaching and the efficiency of enforcement,” state the authors.

The report also looks at 40 years of tiger crime in India’s 605 districts and tests the hypotheses that tiger crime is influenced by the presence of tiger trade hubs, proximity to a number of tiger habitats, and that tiger poachers prefer to use rail routes over road highways.

The apetite for tiger parts in the Far East is being strongly influenced by a change from what CITES secretary general, John Scanlon, called “a disturbing shift in demand for some species from health to wealth – driven by the motivation of displaying new wealth rather than by use in traditional medicine.”

“The pressure on the world’s precious tiger populations continues on many fronts but our determination to raise awareness and fight against the ‘disturbing shift in demand’ remain resolute,” says TigerTime campaign manager, Vicky Flynn.

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*Report: Tiger poaching and trafficking in India: Estimating rates of occurrence and detection over four decades can be bought here