Target: Jayanthi Natarajan, Honorable Minister for Environment and Forests
Goal: Thank Indian government for extensive tiger conservation efforts
The tiger population in India has been decreasing at an alarming rate over the past 100 years, with 40,000 wild tigers roaming the landscape in the early 20th century, to only 1,700 dotting the landscape today. However, the Indian government has made great strides recently to protect tigers and increase population numbers through tiger reserves, punishing poachers with imprisonment and fines, and through effective patrolling strategies. According to the Wildlife Protection Society of India, “13 tigers were hunted in 2011 as opposed to 30 in 2010, a decline of 57 percent.” We should applaud the government of India for all of their efforts in protecting these magnificent big cats.
As the largest of all the big cats, tigers are an endangered species due to years of poaching, retaliatory killings, and habitat loss. Human population growth and industrial projects have squeezed tigers out of their natural habitat; they are being confined to smaller and smaller areas and are increasingly exposed to humans who kill them out of fear or revenge. In just over a century, 97% of wild tigers were wiped out worldwide, with approximately only 3,200 remaining today.
Poaching for a tiger’s body parts is a serious problem threatening tigers worldwide. It costs just a little over a dollar for the poison to kill them, and just $9 for a steel trap. Killers are paid around $15 per tiger. Various body parts, such as bones, are used in traditional Chinese medicine, and can fetch upwards of a thousand dollars for a medium sized bottle of tiger bone wine. Their skins alone can sell for $35,000.
Such high demand has resulted in many tiger killings in China and other Asian countries. As a $20 billion black market, it is one of the most lucrative in the world, second only to the drug trade. After depleting their own tiger population in the mid-1980′s, China started poaching tigers in other regions such as Northern India. However, India has resisted and is fighting to protect its tigers.
India is doing a wonderful job to save tigers. There are 39 preserves set up across India to protect tigers and their natural habitat. There are undercover operations to bring poachers to justice, and there are several educational and wildlife organizations solely dedicated to protecting tigers. Please sign the petition and thank the Indian government for their multi-strategic approach towards saving and increasing the tiger population.
Dear Honorable Minister Jayanthi Natarajan,
Thank you so much for India’s conservation efforts towards protecting tigers. India’s tiger population had been decreasing for a while at an alarming rate, but because of your country’s efforts, the number of poached tigers went down from the year 2010 to the year 2011. It is wonderful to see a country so involved in helping to save this beautiful big cat species.
Though 2012 statistics have not been calculated yet, I am hopeful that because of your ongoing conservation efforts and various strategies, the poaching numbers will be even lower. Your willingness to take such an active role is appreciated and we applaud India’s government for dedicating their time and resources to such an important issue.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Rennett Stowe via Flickr