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Tigers

Why save the tiger?  Besides the tiger's incredible beauty, as an apex predator, the tiger is a fairly good barometer of the health of the entire ecosystem.  If the forest vegetation isn't healthy, grazing mammals won't be healthy, and they won't be good food for this premier big cat.  We are all -- human and animal -- connected in ways we are just beginning to understand.  In fact, nations that neglect their natural environment are at risk for increased frequency and magnitude of natural disasters -- floods, droughts, landslides, earthquakes, and more.  The tiger is worthy of preservation in and of his own right, but in addition, he is an excellent spokesman for the environment as a whole.

There are two basic approaches to helping the tiger -- direct intervention and protecting the environment so the tiger can flourish on his own.  India, through Project Tiger, has taken the second approach.  And it's worked well.  In 1973, when 9 nature reserves (including Kanha) were established, India had 1,800 tigers.  Now, it has almost 4,000.  So what does the tiger need now?  Two things will help today's tiger:  prevent poaching, and take human stress off the tiger's environment.  As

explained more fully below, the Tiger Center will contribute to these ends through donation, economic development, and awareness (wildlife encounters).

Photo by Dr. Meadows at the Tiger Center, Kanha Nature Reserve, India   

 

"Traders pay poachers 2,000 rupees (US$56) for a dead tiger.

 

That's almost half of what a typical farmer makes in a year.

 

The traders can then sell the tiger skin for 50,000 to 80,000 rupees

 

(US$1,390 to US$2,220), and the bones for up to 120,000 rupees (US$3,330).

 

Such tiger poaching is one of the gravest threats facing wild tigers today....

 

Nowadays, it's estimated that one tiger is poached in India every day." 

 

(www.mnzoo.com/education/ticadventures/ta4text/a3.htm)

Photo by Dr. Meadows at the Tiger Center, Kanha Nature Reserve, India   

 

 

How We Help

Donation - Anti-Poaching Efforts - In 2005, the entire tiger population of Sariska Tiger Reserve was wiped out by poachers (nearly 30 tigers, by 2003 estimates).  Our tourism-product retailing partner will donate 10% of profits every year to an organization that fights poaching.  Target organizations:  Save the Tiger Fund's Campaign Against Tiger Trafficking, Tiger Foundation and its Indian partner Tiger Trust (Tiger Protection Awards Program). 

Economic Development - Anti-Poaching and Reducing Stress - Through our local-employment policy and micro-credit fund, we will help the community benefit from tiger tourism.  This takes stress off the tiger's environment (reduces taking wild flora & fauna out of the reserve for consumption), & poachers are less likely to get help from a community that earns its livelihood from the tiger.

Awareness - Wildlife Encounters - At its most essential, ecotourism is a focused effort to raise public awareness to the need for conserving the tiger and its environment, as well as providing funds for other conservation activities.  For broad-based impact, we are also a Member League of OIPA, animal protection & advocacy NGO affiliated with the United Nations.  Awareness for tourists from the West generates funds for conservation, and from the East helps fight illegal trafficking for Chinese medicine.

 

Special Features of the Tiger Center

 

 

We are currently seeking an ecologically-sensitive resort operator to partner with us to create the Tiger Center eco-resort.

Some or all of the following may become part of the final resort.

 

Village Elder Fireside Chats about the jungle and its secrets, learned over a lifetime of exploring.  Be sure to ask about when he was attacked by a leopard at age 70 and survived!

 

Night Trips - As the only facility in Kanha with an on-site elephant and mahout, we will be the only place from which to take a night trip into the forest (best with infra-red digital camera, available for rent).  We also want to start & spread the practice of "elephant whispering" to fight elephant cruelty.

 

Naturalist on-site, providing regular lectures, and individual guidance

 

Machan & Stationary Camera - The local water reserve borders our property.  Come watch & photograph wildlife safely from our raised hideout day & night.  View the highlights from our infra-red machaan stationary camera

 

Rainy Season Birding - We will be the only facility in Kanha open during rainy season, when you can view birds and enjoy the forest replenishing itself.  Since the core zone is closed and tourism stops, the animals come out and explore

Library - Books & videos on tigers, wildlife, birds, India, children's, & more!

Eco-Friendly Building Materials & Technologies

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Solar panels

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Biodigesters

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Water harvesting

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Building materials
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air-filled sun-baked (not wood-fired) bricks

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mud & cow dung mixed with antiseptic neem leaves

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lime-wash exterior

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stick-&-twine roofs covered with locally-made tiles

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Security - ditch-and-cactus borders and other features to keep out wildlife yet keep them (and you) safe

"Luxury Tents"

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world-class interior design

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luxurious, international-standard bathroom

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air coolers, for those hot, summer-afternoon siestas

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single & double beds  (locally made)

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roomy, lockable armoires for valuables (e.g. photography equipment)

"Luxury  Huts"

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style of an authentic villager's hut

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only cottages in Kanha with picture windows overlooking bird bath & feeder, so you can sit in comfort and photograph or watch to your heart's content

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handicap-accessible & elder-friendly hut (reserve early!) - only one in Kanha

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world-class interior design with lovely, international-standard bathroom

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air coolers, for those hot, summer-afternoon siestas

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single or double beds  (locally made)

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roomy, lockable wardrobes for valuables (e.g. photography equipment)

 

 

Gift Shop

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indigenous crafts & locally-made items from our micro-credit recipients

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books - tigers, wildlife, birds, India, children's, & more!

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Guest Gallery - be a professional photographer!  Donate your best Tiger Center photos for reproduction & sale, all proceeds for tiger conservation

 

 

Wildlife Encounters - A New Standard

Today:  ?Ecotourism is for those whose idea of fun is to sleep in a hut, carry their own rubbish and eat things that back home would be exterminated.  But is it also for people who want to fly over a rainforest canopy before checking into a luxury hotel in the midst of a national park??  (The Economist, August 28, 1997)

 

Tomorrow (Our Vision):

'Saw 12 tigers in 10 days via jeep and elephant, day and night!
'Got fabulous digital photos and had plenty of places to charge and store equipment.
'Stayed in a "luxury hut" with the feel (and ecoconstruction) of a villager's mud hut, but with a beautifully decorated interior, luxurious bathroom, and porch from which I got super bird & wildlife photos.  And what fabulous sleep!
'Thought I was going to gain weight in that restaurant & pub, but thankfully didn't.
     
What fabulous stuff I bought for kids & loved ones!  'Had to buy another suitcase.
Gee, I learned a bunch, from both the naturalist and that cozy library.  'Can't wait to tell all about it back home.
Wow!  Eco-technology that actually works well.  Maybe I'll put some of it in at home/work.

 


We strive to uphold the highest principals of responsible ecotourism.  What does that mean?

ek' ō toor' iz em, n

1.  Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.  (International Ecotourism Society

2.  Responsible travel that conserves natural environments and sustains the well-being of local people. (Ecotourism Society of Virginia)

"There must be a direct return of a reasonable share of the revenues generated by the business to local people and to conservation of the local environment; its operation must follow green principles; and the tourists must learn about what they are visiting, not just gawp at it.?  (The Economist, Jan. 8, 1998)

Target partner organization:  Tiger Foundation.

Photo by Dr. Meadows at the Tiger Center, Kanha Nature Reserve, India     

 

 

Links

"Tigers in the Twilight:  India's Disappearing Tigers," The Economist, September 7, 2006.

"Against All Odds, Indian Tigers Bounce Back," Environment News Service (ENS), October 1, 2001

"Old Tigers in India To Get Home,"  BBC News, May 23, 2005
"Ten of Us, We Killed at Least 22 Tigers," Sunday Express (India), November 20, 2005
Bengal Tigers
International Year of the Tiger Foundation
Minnesota Zoo
Nagpur Birds
Project Tiger
Save the Tiger Fund
Sumatran Tiger Trust
Tiger Foundation
Tiger Trust - India
TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network
WildAid
 

 

Asia

Prof. Nishi Mukerji & Mr. Anand Jagdale

46 Ramdaspeth (near Lokmat Building)

Nagpur-10, Maharashtra  440010

India

+91 97 6400 8434, +91 98 2270 8434

nishi@tigercenter.org, bhau@tigercenter.org

Europe

Dr. CJ Meadows & Dr. Kristina Taioli

Les Courtals
1 Rte. de l'Ancien Tramway
Caunes Minervois 11160  France

+33 6 4714 5672

cj@tigercenter.org, kristina@tigercenter.org

USA

Dr. Christopher Lee Marshall

340 East 74th St., PHE
New York, NY 10021
USA

+1 212 249 7361

chris@tigercenter.org

 

                                                                                                                                    Copyright ? 2011 The Tiger Center.  All rights Reserved.