Rare video and photo evidence of wild tigers in Bhutan, the mountain kingdom nestled in the Himalayas in between India and Tibet, has been captured in a camera trap set at high altitude and released today by WWF to mark Global Tiger Day 2017.
India today has nearly twice the number of tigers than it did a decade ago, however, the threats to India's big cats remain as potent as ever. Reportedly, on March 14, 2016, the Uttrakhand police seized five tiger carcasses from Haridwar.
While fewer human lives are lost from tiger attacks now, the big cat population is not declining in the India's Sundarbans National Park (SNP), the world's biggest mangrove forest and genepool and United Nations heritage-listed natural wonder, say officials of the forest department in West Bengal.
"Snares are risky, insidious and quickly becoming a major contributor to the wave of extinction that is spreading throughout Southeast Asia - and tigers are being swept up in this crisis".
Driven by the growing illegal wildlife trade and demand for illegal wildlife products across Asia, poachers are increasingly using snares to trap wild tigers, elephants, leopards and other wildlife, it says.
According to WWF, it's impossible to know how many snares are being set up every day and threatening wildlife in critical habitats. Electrocution and poisoning of the big cats have also been recorded across tiger habitats. The troubling statistics show just how quickly the population is decreasing, and how urgently the tigers need help. It is a voluntary scheme for any organisation involved in tiger conservation. Activists are urging tiger-range governments to strengthen anti-poaching efforts and crack down on a severe wildlife snaring crisis that is threatening wildlife across Asia, especially the world's remaining wild tigers, which number only around 3,900.
Yet, many of such critical habitats lack adequate resources for protection.
Snares are a problem in Asia.
"In addition, local communities must also be recognized and empowered as stakeholders in conservation", he said.
"Snares are a commonly-used method of tiger poaching in Asia's forests". When industries or roads come up, they block the tiger corridors.
Vardhan said that tiger-bearing forests play a mitigative role in combating climate change, besides the value of ecosystem services. We need to take into account development along with mitigation measures.
He emphasised that the tiger is a symbol of a healthy environment and there can be no let-up in conservation efforts, as threats to the big cats remain ever persistent. Since 2016, the long trend of decline in global wild tiger numbers has halted for now and may even begin to rise, signaling a beacon of hope for global tiger conservation.