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Thursday, 27 September, 2001, 07:24 GMT 08:24 UK
India's tiger success story
The tiger's habitat is under threat
A success story at a tiger reserve in India could act as an inspiration to save other wild tigers.

The number of tigers has doubled at the Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, following a move to stop illegal logging and grazing.

The animals had radio devices attached to their collars, to monitor their daily movements and discourage poaching.

The tiger acts as a symbol for the health of India, and the success in Panna acts as hope for both people and wildlife

Debbie Banks, Environmental Investigation Agency
The government was persuaded to close sandstone mines around the reserve and improve state-owned diamond mines that were polluting local water supplies.

The vulnerable population of 2-3 tigers per 100 square kilometres has now grown to 7-8, a healthy number for breeding. One tiger dies a day in India from poaching or habitat loss.

Debbie Banks of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), which was behind the campaign, said: "The tiger acts as a symbol for the health of India, and the success in Panna acts as hope for both people and wildlife."

Better protection

Dr Raghunandan Singh Chundawat, who ran the project at Panna, said the long-term survival of the tiger depended not so much on the number of tigers in a particular area, but the number that are able to breed successfully.

"Our research project's daily monitoring of radio-collared tigers undoubtedly increased their protection from human-induced mortalities," he said.

"This allowed the radio-collared tigers to breed and increased the chances of cubs surviving to adulthood."

The EIA and Global Tiger Patrol are calling on the Indian government to learn from this example and act now to protect the tiger.

See also:

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New hope for Siberia's big cats
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Poachers kill tiger in Indian zoo
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