Virgin group joins hands in saving the Tiger in Uttarakhand

Dehra Dun : Man-animal conflict in the tiger havens of India, particularly the Corbett National Park, which has the highest density of tiger population in the country and creating buffer zones and corridors for their movement from one pocket to another will now be raised at international fora to put pressure on the concerned authorities for the needful.

Richard Brenson, chairman of the Virgin Group has joined hands in conserving the tiger. He said that there are only about 1500 big cats left in the country and seeing their contribution and need in the eco-system, it was dire necessary that various agencies proved their resources to not only preserve but increase the number of tigers in the country.

Brenson who was at Kaladhungi in the Corbett Park area along with the co-founder of the international organization Wild Aid said that a number of countries including Canada and Britain were concerned at the dwindling number of tigers and many organizations in these countries were financing organizations in India involved in tiger preservation.

Observing that human presence and involvement was on the rise in the forests of the Park area of not only Corbett but other pockets containing tiger, he said that the movement could net get the necessary fillip without the actual support of the people, specially villagers living in the immediate vicinity of such parks and forests. Efforts would have to be made to reduce the dependence of the villagers on these forests so that there is the least, if not complete stop on their movement in the forest areas, he opined.

He said that this was the only way that the man-animal conflict that had risen over the years could be brought down. Besides, a number of corridors that the animals used for movement from one forest pocket to another had finished and the others that existed were in a bad shape and about to finish because of interference by man in these corridors, which has to stop, he contended.

Bresnon said that the Virgin group would join hands with other international bodies and organizations that were interested in preserving the big cat in the conservation process and would also provide necessary solar systems, for cooking, heating, lighting and communication to villagers to reduce their movement and dependence on the forests.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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