India to ask neighbours to help in tiger conservation
New Delhi: After China`s lukewarm response to the issue of tiger poaching, India is pinning hopes on other neighbouring countries having population of the big cats to curb trade in parts and skins of the animal.
"We will take up tiger crime and poaching issue on a bilateral level with neighbouring nations particularly those touching the tiger reserves on the border areas of UP and West
Bengal where a few tigers are left in the wild," National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) member secretary Rajesh Gopal said.
"Unless there is a collective action to save tigers, we will not be able to protect the endangered species," he said.
Around 3,000 tigers are left in the world with India having nearly 1,400 striped cats in the wild.
China has shown its reluctance to ban tiger farming. Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has termed as "unsuccessful" his recent meeting with Chinese officials on
the issue of tiger farming and poaching.
The decision to take up the issue of tiger conservation with neighbouring nations was taken up at a meeting between NTCA and northern states housing big cats.
"The issue of how to effectively use the infrastructure and mechanism for conservation of magnificent big cats was discussed at length at the meeting. Neighbouring nations will also be involved in the process," Samir Sinha, head of NGO Trafficking India, said.
Apart from stress on bilateral talks, the meeting also reviewed the security of the tigers in the national parks in Northern India.
"The meeting was held to look into the reasons for the deaths of tigers in the park.The security in the parks was also reviewed," Gopal said.
Directors from the tiger-range states of Northern India such as Corbett, Dudhwa and Kaziranga reserves besides officials from the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) and wildlife experts including Belinda Wright from Wildlife Protection Society India (WPSI) were present at the meeting.
Similar review meetings will be held soon with officials of reserves in Central and Southern India.
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