Tiger poaching in India

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Tiger poaching in India has seriously impacted the probability of survival of tigers in India. [1] About 3,000 wild tigers now survive compared with 100,000 at the turn of the 20th century. This abrupt decimation in population count was largely due to the slaughter of tigers by colonial and Indian elite, during the British Raj period, and indeed following India's independence. [2] Most of those remaining, about 1,700, are India's Bengal tigers. [3] Project Tiger in India had been hailed as a great success until it was discovered that the initial count of tigers had been seriously flawed. [4]


Most of the tiger parts end up in China. [5] where a single skin can sell for Rs. 6.5 million. [6]

For poachers there has been about a four percent conviction rate. [7]

Sansar Chand, the notorious Tiger poacher acknowledged to selling 470 tiger skins and 2,130 leopard skins to just four clients from Nepal and Tibet. [8]

Sansar Chand

Sansar Chand, from the Thanagazi area of Alwar district, had been termed "the kingpin running the country’s biggest wildlife trade syndicate". [9] He stayed in the trade without getting arrested for 40 years. He ran his business from Delhi's Sadar Bazar. He was called "Veerappan of the North". [10]

He is blamed for wiping out the entire tiger population of Sariska Tiger Reserve in 2005 [11]

In 1991, a group arrested in Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan confessed that they had poached 15 to 18 tigers in just two years for him. In January 2005, a raid at Chand's godown in Patel Nagar led to finding of two tiger skins, 28 leopard skins, 14 tiger canines, three kg of tiger claws, 10 tiger jaws and 60 kg of leopard and tiger paws. In 1988, police had seized 25,800 snake skins from him. [12] Sansar Chand's wife Rani and son Akash have also been arrested for wild life trafficking. [13]

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Tiger Largest species of the cat family

The tiger is the largest extant cat species and a member of the genus Panthera. It is most recognisable for its dark vertical stripes on orange-brown fur with a lighter underside. It is an apex predator, primarily preying on ungulates such as deer and wild boar. It is territorial and generally a solitary but social predator, requiring large contiguous areas of habitat, which support its requirements for prey and rearing of its offspring. Tiger cubs stay with their mother for about two years, before they become independent and leave their mother's home range to establish their own.

Clouded leopard Species of wild cat

The clouded leopard is a wild cat inhabiting dense forests from the foothills of the Himalayas through mainland Southeast Asia into southern China. The first clouded leopard known to science was brought to London from China in the early 19th century and described in 1821. It has large dusky-grey blotches and irregular spots and stripes forming a clouded pattern. Its head-and-body length ranges from 68.6 to 108 cm with a 61 to 91 cm long tail. It uses its tail for balancing when moving in trees and is able to climb down vertical tree trunks head first. It rests in trees during the day and hunts by night on the forest floor.

Poaching Illegal hunting of wildlife

Poaching has been defined as the illegal hunting or capturing of wild animals, usually associated with land use rights. Poaching was once performed by impoverished peasants for subsistence purposes and a supplement for meager diets. It was set against the hunting privileges of nobility and territorial rulers.

Project Tiger

Project Tiger is a tiger conservation programme launched in April 1973 by the Government of India during Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's tenure. Kailash Sankhala was the first director of Project Tiger. As the Bengal Tiger is the national animal of India, this project aims to stem the dwindling population of the big cats and work to increase their numbers.

Bengal tiger Tiger population in Indian subcontinent

The Bengal tiger is a tiger from a specific population of the Panthera tigris tigris subspecies that is native to the Indian subcontinent. It is threatened by poaching, loss, and fragmentation of habitat, and was estimated at comprising fewer than 2,500 wild individuals by 2011. None of the Tiger Conservation Landscapes within its range is considered large enough to support an effective population of more than 250 adult individuals. India's tiger population was estimated at 1,706–1,909 individuals in 2010. By 2018, the population had increased to an estimated 2,603–3,346 individuals. Around 300–500 tigers are estimated in Bangladesh, 220–274 tigers in Nepal and 103 tigers in Bhutan.

Ranthambore National Park

Ranthambore National Park is a national park in Rajasthan, northern India, with an area of 1,334 km2 (515 sq mi). It is bounded to the north by the Banas River and to the south by the Chambal River. It is named after the historic Ranthambore Fort, which lies within the park.

Sariska Tiger Reserve

Sariska Tiger Reserve is a tiger reserve in Alwar district, Rajasthan, India. It stretches over an area of 881 km2 (340 sq mi) comprising scrub-thorn arid forests, dry deciduous forests, grasslands, and rocky hills. This area was a hunting preserve of the Alwar state and was declared a wildlife reserve in 1955. It was given the status of a tiger reserve making it a part of India's Project Tiger in 1978. The wildlife sanctuary was declared a national park in 1990, with a total area of about 273.8 km2 (105.7 sq mi). It is the first reserve in the world with successfully relocated tigers. It is an important biodiversity area in the Northern Aravalli leopard and wildlife corridor.

Kalesar National Park Park in Haryana, India

Kalesar National Park and adjacent Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary are protected areas in Yamunanagar district of Haryana state in India, 122 kilometres (76 mi) from Chandigarh. Both are also contiguous to Simbalbara National Park in Himachal Pradesh and Rajaji National Park in Uttrakhand. Kalesar is a popular destination for leopards, panthers, elephants, red jungle fowl and bird-watching. This forested area in the Shivalik foothills is covered primarily with sal with smattering of Semul, Amaltas and Bahera trees as well. Wildlife jeep safaris are available on 3 tracks. Park is closed July to September and during the remaining months visiting hours are 6 am to 10 am and 4 pm to 7 pm during summers, and 7 am to 11 am and 3.30 pm to 6 pm during winters.

Kailash Sankhala

Kailash Sankhala was an Indian biologist and conservationist. He was the Director of Delhi Zoological Park and Chief Wildlife Warden of Rajasthan. He is best known for his work in preserving tigers. Sankhala was the first Director of Project Tiger, a conservation programme set up in India in 1973. He was well known as "The Tiger Man of India". He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1992 and Rajasthan Ratan in 2013.

Indian leopard Leopard subspecies

The Indian leopard is a leopard subspecies widely distributed on the Indian subcontinent. The species Panthera pardus is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because populations have declined following habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching for the illegal trade of skins and body parts, and persecution due to conflict situations.

Wildlife trade

Wildlife trade refers to the commerce of products that are derived from non-domesticated animals or plants usually extracted from their natural environment or raised under controlled conditions. It can involve the trade of living or dead individuals, tissues such as skins, bones or meat, or other products. Legal wildlife trade is regulated by the United Nations' Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which currently has 183 member countries called Parties. Illegal wildlife trade is widespread and constitutes one of the major illegal economic activities, comparable to the traffic of drugs and weapons. Wildlife trade is a serious conservation problem, has a negative effect on the viability of many wildlife populations and is one of the major threats to the survival of vertebrate species. The illegal wildlife trade has been linked to the emergence and spread of new infectious diseases in humans, including emergent viruses. Global initiative like the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 15 have a target to end the illegal supply of wildlife.

Dampa Tiger Reserve

Dampa Tiger Reserve or Dampha Tiger Reserve is a tiger reserve of western Mizoram, India. It covers an area of about 500 km2 (190 sq mi) in the Lushai Hills at an altitude range of 800–1,100 m (2,600–3,600 ft). It was declared a tiger reserve in 1994 and is part of Project Tiger.

Tiger hunting

Tiger hunting is the capture and killing of tigers. Humans are the tigers' most significant predator, and illegal poaching is a major threat to the tigers. The Bengal tiger is the most common subspecies of tiger, constituting approximately 80% of the entire tiger population, and is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, and India. It has been hunted in these countries for centuries. The tiger has historically been a popular big game animal and has been hunted for prestige as well as for taking trophies. Extensive poaching has continued even after such hunting became illegal and legal protection was provided to the tiger. Now a conservation-reliant endangered species, the majority of the world's tigers live in captivity. Tigers were once considered to be harder to hunt than lions, due to their habit of living alone in dense cover and not noisily asserting their presence with roars as often.

Tiger conservation

The tiger is an iconic species. Tiger conservation attempts to prevent the animal from becoming extinct and preserving its natural habitat. This is one of the main objectives of the international animal conservation community. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has played a crucial role in improving international efforts for tiger conservation.

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Wildlife Protection Society of India

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Wildlife SOS (WSOS) is a conservation non-profit in India, established in 1995 with the primary objective of rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife in distress, and preserving India’s natural heritage. It is currently one of the largest Wildlife Organisations in South Asia.

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Wildlife smuggling in southern Africa

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  1. Tiger poaching and trafficking in India: Estimating rates of occurrence and detection over four decades, Koustubh Sharma,Belinda Wright,Tito Joseph,Nitin Desai, Biological Conservation, Elsevier, Volume 179, November 2014, Pages 33–39
  2. http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2014/03/10/a-concise-history-of-tiger-hunting-in-india
  3. Poaching for Chinese Markets Pushes Tigers to the Brink, 12/05/2014
  4. Faulty Counts May Have Hurt India Tigers, Experts Say, Pallava Bagla, National Geographic News, August 7, 2003
  5. INDIA'S HIDDEN TIGER POACHERS, Roads and Kingdoms, Jun 20, 2014
  6. Sansar’s Successors, RAMAN KIRPAL, October 16, 2010
  7. Illegal Tiger Trade: Why Tigers Are Walking Gold, Sharon Guynup in Cat Watch on February 12, 2014
  8. Sansar Chand, notorious tiger poacher, dead TNN | Mar 19, 2014
  9. Wriggling Out Of The Skin, Jay Mazoomdaar, Tehelka, 2013-07-27
  10. Sansar Chand Is India’s Deadliest Poacher. Here Is How He Has Escaped Legal Traps For 40 Years, RAMAN KIRPAL, Tehelka, August 7, 2010,
  11. Sansar Chand, who wiped out Sariska tigers, dies of cancer, Indian Express, March 18, 2014
  12. Poacher Sansar Chand arrested in Delhi, Outlook, JUN 30, 2005
  13. Haider, Tanseem (12 July 2016). "Notorious poacher Sansar Chand's son arrested in Delhi for wildlife trade". India Today. Retrieved 19 October 2017.