21.12.05

Computers To help track Indian Tigers

Kolkata - India will start counting tigers next month in the world's largest habitat for the big cats using specially-designed computer programs to avoid duplication in recording pugmarks, officials said on Tuesday.' To do this they intend to use computer technology The government was criticised by conservationists after reports in March said the entire tiger population at the Sariska tiger reserve, one of the most high profile, had been killed by poachers and that numbers across the country had dropped. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh formed a special tiger taskforce to suggest ways of saving the big cats. "They cannot be more than one hundred tigers in the Sunderbans and we are seeing tiger numbers are going down in almost all the sanctuaries," he said from New Delhi. A century ago there were about 40 000 tigers in India but now officials estimate there are about 3 700. Some environment groups say there are less than 2 000. Trade in tigers is illegal but poachers still operate with impunity because a single animal can fetch up to $50 000 (about R317 000) on the black market. Of course I have been told and read that the Chinese are the biggest buyers just like the Rhino horn or Elephant tusks; I know the Tiger bit quite well and one Chinese Billionaire whom folk mistakenly believe he was involved in this are mistaken I think, he had nothing to do with the poaching trade at all name of Aw Boon Haw Another story altogether that one, I have seen his Villa in Singapore called Aw Boon Haw Villa on Orchard Road many times. All in all of course food for thought looking at the numbers of Tigers left in the wild which some in India put as low as 2000.

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