Our country is the home to a wide population of tigers; however, their numbers have reduced as a result of poaching. The year 1973 saw the launch of ‘Project Tiger’ initiated by Indira Gandhi to preserve the animal. As a result of this project 25 tiger reserves were established which led to a substantial increase in the number of Bengal Tigers. However, the numbers saw a steep fall from 3500 in the 90’s to 1400 in the year 2007. As a result of the threat to this species, the government had to again take major steps to revive their numbers. Some of these were to combat poaching and setting up of more tiger reserves.
We need strict programmes to be created to protect the prestige of our nation. This is going to be possible with knowledge of why it is essential to preserve them and how their existence is a boon to mankind.
As our national animal it represents the wildlife wealth and extent of our nation. Known for its grandeur, strength, agility, fierceness and beauty, no other animal could have matched up for the esteem and pride a tiger is associated with. Undoubtedly it is referred to as the ‘Lord of Jungles’.
It is said that when Dodos became extinct in Mauritius, it also lead to the extinction of acacia tree as well. It clearly implies that if we disturb the ecological balance it can eventually prove fatal to us in the end. Being on the top of the food chain, a tiger’s role is pivotal as it keeps a check on the ungulates, hence maintaining a balance of the vegetation and the herbivores.
In Hindu mythology Tiger is worshipped and the warrior goddess Durga rides on it. Similarly in southern India god Ayappan is associated with the tiger. Banbibi, the guardian spirit of the forests worshipped by the inhabitants of Sundarbans, also rides a tiger. So, basically for Indians tiger is more than an animal, then the question arises as to why we involve into illegal activities such as poaching to harm the animal that we look up to.
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Our country is a tourist destination for many. Many people travel from other countries especially to explore our flora and fauna. With tigers getting extinct, not only are we disturbing the balance of the system but also of our lives. For some, this is the only source of income and might get adversely affected if the tourists stop viewing our nation constituting the wildlife wealth.
A forest is home not only to tigers but to many other species who might be facing a similar threat of extinction. And the territory a tiger requires is enormous, so, all forest habitats created for preservation of tigers will stay protected from a man’s illegal activities and will result in the safety of other inhabitants as well.
As the forest where tiger resides is huge, it houses many trees as well. This vast spread of flora is our carbon sink, so basically more of tigers will mean more of forest, more of forest will mean more of trees and more of trees will eventually mean human beings leading a healthy life. So we can be a little selfish here and for our sake let’s preserve the tigers.