tiger reserve

Is Wildlife tourism the Answer to Tiger Conservation?

Studies affirm this to be fact, an encouragement towards responsible wildlife tourism has seen a steady rise in the number of tigers. Still, there’s lots more to be done.

Have you ever experienced sweat trickle down your neck, thrill run down your spine while waiting to catch a glimpse of the majestic tiger in its natural habitat? An adrenaline rush scores of wildlife enthusiasts hunt for all their lives. But today, with forests depleting, poaching, man-animal conflict, this experience is becoming rarer. Rewind to two centuries back, India boasted an estimated 58,000 tigers that wandered India’s thick rambling forests. However, owing to the hackneyed destruction of India’s dense foliage, along with hunting, brought the tiger count down to fewer than 2,000 by the 1970s. Due to the wildly successful Project Tiger, setup in 1973, we today have 50 wildlife sanctuaries in India to provide a dedicated space for the beast’s ecosystem. An All India Tiger Estimation in 2018 showcase that the big cat has swelled in numbers from 2,226 tigers in 2014 to a whopping 2,967 tigers in 2018, a thirty-three percent jump.

tiger reserve
Why Save The Tiger?

Scores of nature and wildlife enthusiasts rush to the tiger parks such as Ranthambore, Bandhavgarh, Pench, Tadoba and Sariska every year to see these enigmatic beauties. Protection of the Indian tiger is not an ideal, indulgent activity, the big cat plays a pivotal role in maintaining a balance between herbivores and the vegetation that they feed on being at the top of the food chain. Hence, saving the tiger is vital for a healthy ecosystem and wildlife in India in general. So it is safe to say, by saving the tiger you are saving yourself.

Encouraging Initiatives

However, there is enough and more that needs to be done to ensure the numbers of the big cat continue to rise in the coming years. Habitat loss and poaching continues to loom as a threat to the majestic species. The lucrative trade of tiger parts in Chinese medicines continues to lure poachers. Vigilant activities under the Wildlife Protection Act, the National Tiger Conservation Authority and the Wildlife Crime Bureau have now put an emphasis on not only having a more pronounced tiger estimation method but also systems. A spoiler though - a World Economic Forum’s 2018 Travel and Tourism report states that even though India is ranked as one of the world’s top biodiversity hotspots, its ability to draw visitors solely on natural heritage is a miserable 113th in the world. A lot has been done, but clearly a lot more needs to be achieved.

Is Tiger Tourism the Answer?

Watching a tiger or any other animal, for that matter, in its natural habitat leads to a fundamental attitude shift among the general population, from that of destruction and consumption to preservation. More visitors spending time and money towards tiger tourism helps to create an appreciative, intimate understanding of the wild and it’s many habitants. The more tigers, the more tourists, case in point, Bandhavgarh and Pench tiger reserves. Responsible wildlife tourism helps in conserving the majestic creature, the natural habitat, as well as benefits the local community. It creates an alternate mode of living for the locals, from marginal earrings, extraction, to protection and alternate mode of sustainable living. This intricate web of tourists, locals and the wildlife enables everyone to identify with the tiger story; otherwise it can just be narrative happening in some faraway part of India, without anyone identifying with it. Tourists help generate revenue in the park, that further helps the cause. The revenue enables the Govt. and the park to employ the locals. It causes the villagers in seeing the tiger as not as an adversity but a source of creation of job. According to studies, thereon, more and more locals contribute towards the cause, inform authorities about poaching and be part of conservation activities in the buffer zones. Tiger reserves further help securing water bodies as well as flood control.

tiger reserve
Our Contribution

Beyond Stay is a travel and hospitality solutions provider driven by technology, with 3 resorts in prime wildlife locations, such as Pench Tiger Reserve, Jim Corbett National Park and Tadoba-Andhari National Park, we consider our role in conservation very seriously. By providing a spectacular visitor experience, and working on enhancing it, by having birding, forest walks, we try and create a synergy between the tourist and the wild. Our resort in Pench, Beyond Stay Mahua Vann is made out of natural materials, grows organic food; Beyond Stay Mahua Tola in Tadoba conducts educational tours for schoolchildren for them to be able to empathize with the cause and take the lead as they grow up. The Beyond Stay Vasavana Resort in Jim Corbett employs locals, giving them employment while reducing man-animal conflict. We at Beyond Stay are committed towards doing our best to help in the efforts to protect the species. The Tiger is a beloved animal, a majestic creature, and part of our heritage. Let us keep it alive and save it from becoming a lore for the future generations. In the process, we will mitigate against alarming climate changes happening across all the tiger-range countries.

tiger reserve

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