60 Minutes segment on Tigers

Nov 21st, 2006, 12:05 PM
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In response to the original post:

The woman on last night's show was referring to reintroduction via captive born tigers. She's right that it's very difficult to reintroduce captive-born animals, but it has been accomplished with a few varied species, mostly primates and such. Unfortunately, it's risky for the individual animals and VERY expensive to mount (no pun intended) projects like that. Funding anti-poaching measures is much less expensive. There is also sometimes the alternative of reintroducing translocated animals from areas where the populations are stable, but that doesn't sound like an option in this case, sadly. Their best option by far is to find both the money and the will to stop poaching now. Let's hope they can do something before it's too late. That segment on 60 minutes really was heartbreaking
yatesn is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 12:49 PM
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Divewop/GreenDrake: the crux of the park fees is also that for public land you want it to be accessible for most people and not just the elite but than it can be overrun with people and it definitely does not properly monetize the value. Personally I would like to see fees stay low to provide wide access, as well as restrict large areas of parks to very limited access for the primary benefit of wildlife but that 'subsidized value' should be recognized and more funds should be allocated based on that public value -- unfortunately that is Utopian because no one wants to pay for free riders with their tax dollars which means higher fees may be the necessity and it does provide the benefit of less people. The multi use and purposes of such places makes for difficult decisions -- the one thing that is clear is protected parks are valuable in lots of ways and we need more of them while the land is out there.

As Divewop points out with the stats the overpopulation is devastating and I really don't see how it gets reversed without a plague or catastrophic war, the kinds of things that naturally occur when any species exceeds its carrying capacity, its just too bad our actions are going to destroy most of the other species along with us. Definitely depressing, I often wish I could just be ignorant because the knowledge is disheartening and the obvious illustration with the plight of tigers probably hurts more than any other for me.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 01:09 PM
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Biggest single issue with park fees that are high enough to severely limit public access, so as to preserve wildlife as primary concern - animals don't vote. Politicians certainly don't care and most of humanity is too hungry, lazy, stupid to understand what we are doing.
I don't mind paying a fortune in Botswana for safari, because a big chunk of the money goes to an enlightened government, but I really can't think of many other areas where that applies.

A couple of weekends ago we were at Point Lobos state park near Carmel, CA. Had a great time following almost every trail and saw a ton of birds, including a couple of new ones. It's $9 to park your car and be there all day. Of course the road outside is clogged a quarter mile in each direction with locals parking outside and walking in. What's $9 for a days privileged recreation for up to 4 people? But that's the attitude your up against, even in ecologically enlightened Northern California (so called).
napamatt is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 01:19 PM
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Reading everyone's notes, I of course think about the Mountain Gorilla's. I did whine about the $375 for the visit but still happily paid. I would whine when it goes up to $500 and still pay.

But I look at gorilla trekking as a boutique kind of experience. Part of me doesn't like this and feels that more people should get to see them. However, a stampede of hundreds of tourists a day would just destroy everything. I think keeping the numbers deliberately low by the high price is a good thing.

I wish this could work at Ranthambore, but a tiger safari is a very different experience, especially when you aren't even certain to see them.

But arming the guards is a big start.
waynehazle is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 01:48 PM
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Matt: you are right and I see the same thing in Colorado. We have tons of county open space parks and trails that are free and they are packed with people, but if you go to a paid area like a State park for $7 in the same general area it is almost empty. If outdoor recreation was all pay to play (not that I would want that or think it is a good idea) people's attitude would change fast and lots of folks would pay up to utilize such tremendous places. In this area people have been very good about voting in sales tax (small %) to go for open space park purchases and management and our lottery fund goes for the same thing so we have it pretty good. It makes for a great quality of life and is one of the reasons people are drawn to our area.

Wayne: the gorillas is a great example. The permit is expensive but visitation opportunities are so limited that it should command a high price. The other side of the coin is most people on this board expect the local people to support this national park for protection of the gorillas even though 99.8% of Rwandans will never be able to enter the park and enjoy it. If the locals don't get to use it they better see some economic benefit and that will only occur if high enough fees are charged without losing the demand.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 02:17 PM
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There are too many issues in this thread and I have to go to bed.
Nyamera is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 02:17 PM
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Yes, the part about the locals can't be stressed enough. They have to get benefits from the tourism or they will be resentful of the animals (they are probasbly still resentful anyway)

My first day of gorilla trekking we walked by lots of visitors and of course I thought about the fact that every day all these tourists with big expensive cameras & nice clothing walk by them to see gorillas they never see in their lives.

In order to even THINK of raising the price of a tiger safari to something much higher my certainty of seeing tigers would have to be MUCH higher. My first drive in Ranthambore, I saw one tiger sleeping far away in some brush. Not paying $500 for that.

Unlike gorillas, tigers are solitary and reclusive, (not to mention dangerous) so you won't be able to walk up to a nice family of tigers and sit 20 feet away and watch them play for an hour.
waynehazle is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 05:04 PM
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Lots of posts on this thread since i last checked in on-line.

I recall that show you are talking about....also believe it or not the huge city of Bombay (now Mumbai) is ever expanding, that parts of the suburbs are now on the fringes of a park. Leopards have known to pick out little kids playing in their suburban playgrounds around dusk....both in low income and high income (very posh areas). Very sad state of affairs....

Thanks for the link....

Nov 21st, 2006, 07:28 PM
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The new CCA property in Bandhavgarh national park charges $600pppn.

Nov 22nd, 2006, 08:31 AM
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Does anyone know if this is going to be rerun or where one can get a copy of it?
13moons is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2006, 08:57 PM
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A tragic issue but one worth discussing. Our wonderful guide, Victor, at Luangwa River Lodge told us many stories about his previous job as a ranger whose job it was to go into the villages and try to convince the residents to stop poaching. He said that his early efforts were for naught, and that villagers were resentful of him and the Park, particularly damage elephants were causing to their gardens. In earlier times, there were occasional attacks by predators, mostly on domestic animals, but occasionally on humans, but that is rare now.

Slowly, he said, as tourism increased, as more and more residents have gotten jobs in and supporting the camps, the view toward the wild animals has become more accepting, and poaching has decreased. However, there is still a time bomb ticking. The elephant population of South Luangwa Nat. Park is growing rapidly, and they make nightly forays out of the park to feed causing a lot of damage. The population of villages around the park is also growing rapidly, and local businesses and camps cannot absorb all the new people.

The biggest problem, according to Victor is the snares still being set out in the park. They kill and maim indiscriminately.

On another note, I was struck by the comment, and the apparent acceptance as fact, of Botswana's "enlightened" approach to ocnservation as a contrast to that of India. It appears not to be true based on the major fence building that Botswana has embarked upon ostensibly to "protect" domestic cattle.

Dahlia and Mark Owens, authors of the wonderful "Cry of the Kalahari," have written extensively about it and incurred the wrath of Botswana's cattle industry and the government which has clearly given cattle higher priority than wildlife. Hundreds of miles-long barrier fences have been built and are being built to prevent domestic cattle from mixing with wild ungulates, which now have been blocked from their traditional migration routes, causing the deaths of thousands of animals every year.

Here's a passage from a recent issue of Natural History on just one such fence.

"A few months into the construction of the 240-mile-long Makgadikgadi fence, David Dugmore drove along the first stretch of cable wire slung between vertical wooden posts. It was the dry season in north central Botswana, and Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, now bounded on the west by the fence, was stark and grim, its wildlife seemingly consigned to the dusty past. The seasonal drought from March through October had transformed the park into a lunar landscape shimmering with salt crystals--one of the largest salt pans in the world. But on this day, the austere beauty seemed more like a killing field. As he drove, Dugmore, the owner of a safari camp, counted zebra carcasses lining the fence. "There was at least one every kilometer," he recalls.

Roughly a hundred zebras died in a single month in 2004, before the fence was even completed. The zebras, on their annual migration to water holes and grazing areas to the west, had probably died from stress and dehydration when they met the new barrier. Others likely died in the jaws of hyenas or lions, which have learned to stampede zebras into the wire grids."

Have any of the experienced Botswana safari goers heard about these fencess, and if so, what are the opinions being expressed, and what pressure is being brought to bear on Botswana's government to change its policies which appear to be disastrous to wildlife? Yes, I know this started out as a thread about tigers, but it was on this thread that the comment (apparently not totally true) re. Botwana being "enlightened" on conservation issues was made.


steeliejim is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2006, 09:31 PM
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I will address the elephant issues here in India. Right on the outskirts of where my town is located (one hour drive away) there is a small forested area and there are villages on teh outskirts. During the dry season....invariably the elephants try to sneak into the village areas to get a drink and this usually causes a friction between man and animal. They use fireworks etc etc., to chase them away. There was a newspaper report that the herd trampled one man who was on foot by himself....usually, the same herd returns year after year. I have seen this herd twice. Last year, the herd chose to use one of the fields as their destination to give birth and they stayed there for about 3 or 4 days. Local media and news stations made a big story out of this....

The problem obviously is, enroached space due to a growing population along with cutting off ancient migratory corridors.

Villagers claim to have seen leopards and a tiger in these forests. Leopard i believe....but,IMO the tiger story is fabricated....

Nov 23rd, 2006, 11:33 PM
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Missed your question....but, the documentary is called,"leopards of bollywood" on Nat Geography. Dont know if or when they are going to air it in your part of the world. They do re-run it from time to time here in India, so will tape it in the future and find a way to send it across....

Jan 30th, 2007, 04:05 PM
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Not sure if I posted this hear already, but for anyone heading to India on a tiger Safari, you can check out my Ranthambore videos.

As has been brought out before safariin India is quite different from Africa and tigers are very different from lions. Lions are social creatures that lay out in the open in large groups. Tigers are solitary and will avoid you as much as possible. So my few seconds of tiger exposure was an incredible gift.

Here is the first day at Ranthambore. We saw a tiger sleeping. And heard 2 mating. Mostly you get some of the scenery of Ranthambore if you view this one.

www.ifilm.com/video/2818206 or

the second day was the big glimpse
www.ifilm.com/video/2812414 or travelistic.com/video/show/1922

waynehazle is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 08:05 PM
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I have only seen 4 tigers in the wild ever!!! Three of them in one drive....so, yes it is a privilege. But, i havent been to Kanha or Bandhavgarh which have a good reputation for sightings......

Jan 30th, 2007, 08:09 PM
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I havent read this thread in a long time....so i dont know if this issue has been mentioned.......

The current real-estate boom going on through out the length and breadth of India also means that urbanization is expanding far and away from towns and cities......eventually, i wonder what habitat is going to be left for the big cat?

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