Thursday, August 18, 2005

Saving the Tiger - Ullas Karanth in the New York Times

The New York Times recently ran a good (if brief) interview with one of the important figures of Tiger conservation in India, Ullas Karanth. Some excerpts below. (Bugmenot - link in the right bar - will help you say ta-ta-buh-bye to NYT site registration)

A worrisome quote:
In most of that territory, there's been a tremendous tiger decline due to habitat degradation by local people and development activities like mines, dams and roads, and the poaching of tiger prey.

A fascinating quote:
They are built to take down prey four to five times their own size. If I went into the forest, it would be hard for me to get within striking range of a deer. This huge cat does it effortlessly. It can grab onto something that weighs about a ton, wrestles it down and kill it, all very safely and quietly.

And, finally, a hopeful quote:
One thing that gives us a head start: India actually has more wild tigers than our neighbors.

We won't need to reintroduce them. Also, tigers reproduce easily; they are not like pandas. Also, I believe that there are aspects of Indian culture that can be mobilized for conservation. If you look at the Hindu religion, there's real guilt associated with the killing of an animal. So if you are protecting a park and you catch a poacher, this sense of guilt puts the enforcement officials at an advantage.

Thank God we have people like him watching these beautiful cats.


J. Alfred Prufrock said...

It's been a long long time since I heard Woody G., but I've been listening to Arlo's "City of New Orleans" recently. Time to load up WinMX ...

Re: "This land is your land": ever noticed how many morons also think Springsteen's "Born in the USA" is an upbeat patriotic song?


Anant said...

Ullas Karanth recently spoke about the future of the tiger in Chennai, India. A report on his talk by the Discoverwild Foundation can be read, (without registration hassles) at
Why India's Tigers May Yet Survive

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