New Delhi: India, which is home to almost
half the world`s big cat population, will host an
international tiger conference on February 14 to highlight the
steps being taken to save the endangered animal which is on
the brink of extinction.
This was stated by Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh
at a function here today after launching the website on the
database of wildlife crime related to tigers and release of a
magazine exclusively devoted to big cat conservation.
"At the conference to be attended by wildlife experts
and scientists world-over, we will tell the global community
what we are doing to save this royal animal whose numbers are
declining sharply and can be extinct if no adequate steps are
taken to save it," Ramesh said.
To draw home his point, he said that out of 37 tiger
reserves in the country, condition in 17 was very precarious
and they might go the way of Sariska and Panna, which have no
native tigers left.
World over there are around 3,000 tigers left, with
nearly 1,400 in various reserves in India.
With China marking 2010 as the `Year of the Tiger` from
February 14, the minister expressed fear that the demand for
tiger parts and derivatives might rise in the neighbouring
country as well as in Thailand and Myanmar.
He, however, welcomed China`s recent move of issuing a
series of directives to prevent illegal trade of tiger parts,
which he said would help curb poaching in wild tigers here.
Ramesh said this would help build pressure on China to
curb poaching at the Global Tiger Summit to be held on January
29 in Bangkok, to be attended by him.