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CITESCITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species International agreement with aim to ensure that international trade in specimens of.

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Presentation on theme: "CITESCITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species International agreement with aim to ensure that international trade in specimens of."— Presentation transcript:

1 CITESCITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species International agreement with aim to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Created at 1963 meeting of IUCN; designates three categories with associated rules and licensing – Appendix I - species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances. – Appendix II - species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled –Appendix III - species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling trade.

2 Lacey ActLacey Act (U.S) Originally authored in 1900 but amended several times. Beginning with revisions in 1981, refocused attention on illegal international trafficking in flora and fauna CITES lacks enforcement; the Lacey Act allows federal and state wildlife officials to prosecute US citizens if they violate international wildlife laws

3 IUCN Red listIUCN Red list(International Union for Conservation of Nature) Comprehensive, global database detailing the conservation status of plant and animal species. Plays role in guiding conservation activities of governments, NGOs and scientific institutions.

4 IUCN Red list


6 Bengal tigers

7 Bengal tiger Found in India with smaller populations in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Myanmar. Most numerous of all tiger subspecies with fewer than 2,500 left in the wild. Classified as endangered by the IUCN Red List


9 Tigers in India India is home to approximately 60 per cent of the world's remaining wild tigers Large scale hunting of Bengal tigers by Mughal rulers 500 years ago British tiger hunts during colonial era from 1850’s until 1947.



12 “Tigers also represented for the British all that was wild and untamed in the Indian natural world. Thus, the curious late Victorian and Edwardian spectacle of British royals and other dignitaries being photographed standing aside dead tiger carcasses depicted the staging of the successful conquest of Indian nature by "virile imperialists". More generally, tiger hunting was an important symbol in the construction of British imperial and masculine identities during the nineteenth century. Precisely because tigers were dangerous and powerful beasts, tiger hunting represented a struggle with fearsome nature that needed to be resolutely faced "like a Briton“. Only by successfully vanquishing tigers would Britons prove their manliness and their fitness to rule over Indians.



15 Tigers in India 10,000 – 20,000 tigers at start of 20 th century Project Tiger – Began in 1973 when census revealed only 2000 tigers – Prohibitions on hunting, poaching – Set up tiger reserves Started with 9 tiger reserves in an area of 16,339 sq km and 268 tigers. At present 27 tiger reserves over 37,761 sq km and 1500 tigers. – ‘Core-buffer' strategy The core areas were freed from all sorts of human activities and the buffer areas were subjected to 'conservation oriented land use'.

16 India’s tiger reserves

17 Poaching in tiger reserves Up to 4,000 tigers in the wild in India during the 1990s Declined steeply to about 1,400 in 2006. Related to entry of China into global economy


19 Ranthambhore National Park Crown jewel of India’s reserves In 2003 – 2004 poachers killed half of all the tigers in the park with at least negligence of forestry and government officials. Poaching has occurred in other reserves Indian Supreme Court banned tiger tourism in core areas of reserve but has been slowly opening them back up

20 Neocolonialism? Tigers bring in money for international conservation organizations that can exert considerable influence. Indian tiger census has been manipulated to encourage more financial support.

21 Conflict of interests? Pro-tiger (and lion) sentiments strong in rich countries where tigers never roamed. – Who bears the burden of living with large predators?

22 Human-tiger conflicts Conservation areas increase tiger populations and likelihood of attacks on livestock and humans Recovery goals may bring about more conflict 85 people per year dies in India each year from tiger attacks, less than deaths from snake bite or rabies


24 Sundarbans of India and Bangladesh

25 Can locals play a role in tiger management? The Forest Rights Act (2006) – Recognizes the rights of some forest dwelling communities to access forest areas. – Viewed as problematic by some in that poaching may increase with more forest access – Fears over increased poaching overlook the long history of human-tiger coexistence, and the potential role of local people to assume management and protection of tiger populations



28 Reason to kill tigers is not a matter of revenge Perceptions of risk from tiger attacks Perceived failings of local officials whom villagers may consider responsible for preventing or resolving tiger incidents Enhanced social status of villager who kills a tiger Value of tiger parts

29 Solutions Address crowd formation behavior (tiger attacks can be a defensive behavior in response to being surrounded by people) Tiger proof houses and livestock pens Provision of solar electricity grids (lighting may thwart tigers and enhance their detection) Build village capacity to respond to tigers through non-lethal means Empower villagers to organize and respond on their own rather depending solely upon officials

30 Village Tiger Response Team (VTRT)




34 Conserve large predatory megafauna on earth? No, we don’t need these animals. Yes, and which method(s) should be employed? – Fence animals in and humans out to conserve habitat and species? – Integrate animals with humans in conservation areas and develop coexistence strategies and market incentives to protect wildlife? – Farm the animals, breed them in captivity? – Allow them to survive as pets in developed countries? – Rewilding?



37 Lions and fences debate

38 Population density in (people per sq kilometer) for tiger reserves in India

39 Rewilding the South China Tiger Approximately 60 individuals all caged in zoos Existing population is extremely inbred, with high mortality and low fertility.. No official or biologist has seen a wild South China tiger since the early 1970s Rewilding project underway in South Africa



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