Sustaining the Lives of Tigers and People
With as few as 3,000 wild tigers left in the world (2014), the future for this iconic species in its natural habitat is precarious indeed. Tiger range throughout India, Indochina, and Southeast Asia is now 40 percent smaller than it was in 1951, and today tigers occupy a mere 7 percent of their historical territory. Amidst this, the threats are mounting.
On the Indian subcontinent, where the largest tiger population persists, only 11 percent of their original habitat remains in an increasingly fragmented and often degraded state. Tigers are a conservation dependent species, requiring large contiguous forests with access to prey and water and undisturbed core areas in which to breed.
The Satpuda forests of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra offer perhaps the best hope for India's remaining 2,200 wild tigers (2015 estimate). Constituting several Tiger Reserves connected by forest corridors, this is the largest viable block of tiger habitat in India. The Satpuda Landscape Tiger Partnership (SLTP), developed by the Born Free Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at the University of Oxford, brings together a network of Indian conservationists working in seven Tiger Reserves across this very important tiger range – Bori-Satpuda, Kanha, Melghat, Pench MP, Pench Maharashtra, Navegaon-Nagzira and Tadoba-Andhari and habitat corridors linking them.
Through conservation bursaries funded by the Born Free Foundation these dedicated NGOs and individuals are implementing a variety of conservation activities to protect tiger habitats, mitigate tiger-human conflict, tackle wildlife crime, monitor tiger populations, raise awareness and improve the livelihoods of people living next to tigers.
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Talk on tiger conservation given by Kishor Rithe, one of our SLTP partners, at the Born Free office.