An urgent and unprecedented initiative to protect one of the world's last major un-fragmented wild tiger populations in eastern Madhya Pradesh State - A collaborative project of The Tiger Foundation and India's Tiger Trust.
PHASE #1: ASSESSING THE SUSTAINABILITY OF A PRICELESS TIGER POPULATION IN THE FORESTED CORRIDOR AREAS BETWEEN BANDHAVGARH AND SANJAY NATIONAL PARKS, IN EASTERN MADHYA PRADESH STATE.
PHASE #2: WORKING WITH MADHYA PRADESH STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES, AND IN COOPERATION WITH INDIAN AND INTERNATIONAL NGOs AND MULTILATERAL AGENCIES, PLANNING A COORDINATED LAND AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN TO REDUCE HUMAN - TIGER CONFLICTS, TO AVOID HABITAT FRAGMENTATION AND TO PREVENT POACHING OF TIGERS AND THEIR PREY.
A jealously guarded network of Indian national
parks and reserves is the focal point of virtually all of India's tiger
conservation activities. Yet, it is clear that perhaps the most overlooked
aspect of tiger conservation in India is that well over half the wild
population does not occur inside the tiger reserve protection network.
The last all-India tiger census in 1993 estimated that as much as 66%
of the tigers were found outside the boundaries of the then 19 (there
are now 25) Project Tiger reserves. In the 1997 census of the 'Tiger
State' of Madhya Pradesh (then undivided) the total number of tigers
reported was 927, out of which 226 tigers were reported to live in State's
five tiger reserves and 229 in other protected forests. 472 tigers,
or more than 50% of the total, were therefore believed to survive in
unprotected areas where law enforcement coverage is light and where
human encroachment in the forests is rampant. Clearly, tigers outside
the protected area network are extremely vulnerable. They are often
fragmented populations that suffer from intense poaching, a diminishing
prey base and severely threatened habitat. Despite all this, they are
poorly understood and receive little effective protection.