A recent study of 10 reserves shows that wildlife tourism is growing at a rate of 15 percent and that around 80 percent of the tourists are domestic. While this appears to be a good sign of people’s improved sensibilities, there is usually a big impact due to the way eco-tourism is conducted. Although there are 600 wildlife reserves, people usually just flock to a few. Reserves such as Ranthambore, Corbett, Kanha, Bandipur and Bandhavgarh attract most people. The first … Read More
Conservation Letters Study Identifies Wildlife Tourism Challenges
A study by Krithi Karanth and others in Conservation Letters identifies challenges to wildlife because of burgeoning tourism. The main drive behind the increase is attributed to the rising affluent, middle class with money to spend on vacations. Increased revenue from tourism is still not benefiting individual parks, as it goes into a larger treasury. It also skips local communities, with the revenue ending largely in private hands. Other challenges include threats to unprotected adjoining lands, corridors as well as … Read More
Maharashtra proposing to promote Tiger Tourism
Maharashtra is proposing to advertise its tiger assets and increase tourism. The government is proposing to tag Nagpur as the ‘tiger capital’ to promote the state . The state has an estimated 169 tigers (as per the 2010 Tiger Estimation Survey). Tadoba, Melghat and Sahayadri reserves have shown an increase in tiger population, according to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, A. K. Khetrapal. Maharashtra has 4 reserves and 34 sanctuaries. The state has created buffer zones of around 8 … Read More
Resort activity threatens Bandipur’s North Eastern boundaries
Illegal resort activity is threatening Bandipur’s forest boundaries in Gundlupet Taluk. On Tuesday, the forest department booked a case against Tropical Wilderness and Wellness Pvt Ltd, clearing forest land, changing land use patterns without permission and for constructions in a wildlife corridor without obtaining permission. An older project, the Tiger Ranch in Mangala village, is also under the scanner for illegal land acquisition from tribals. The latter is however more difficult to take action against, as it is owned by … Read More
Tiger Tourism or Trauma?
I recently refused to write a travelogue on Corbett for a renowned travel magazine. With some reluctance, given that I am always scouting for an excuse, and an opportunity, to visit the reserve. But as author of a report that established that tourism is a major threat to Corbett, I could hardly cross the fence and promote the ‘evil empire’.
Wait a minute here: Isn’t tourism the best means to win supporters for the cause? Doesn’t it benefit the local … Read More
‘Crowding’ of tigers in India’s popular tiger parks is a big issue like this typical scene in Ranthambore. … Read More
The Rare Ibisbill and a Coca Cola bottle, Leh, Ladakh
Increase in rampant and unsustainable tourism in remote Ladakh region of India is threatening to destroy highly fragile mountain eco-systems. In the absence of any garbage-disposal system, this breeding bird finds its habitat littered with trash.… Read More
Scenes like this justify the extreme move to ban on tourism in the core areas of tiger reserves. Many activists and tour operators contend that tiger tourism should be better managed, but resist calling for a complete ban. They are of the view that tourism helps protect the tigers, as the public become eyes and ears for a reserve, and also provides livelihood for various people from drivers to guides. … Read More
Tourism, But Not at the Cost of Wilderness
Unregulated tourism in tiger reserves has created quite a furore of late, with even the Prime Minister Dr Man Mohan Singh writing to Chief Ministers of Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh cautioning against “unregulated and unplanned tourism,” following a report and media outcry on the negative impact of tourism on tigers and other wildlife on Corbett.
Resorts (along with other construction) is blocking critical tiger and elephant corridors, there is government infrastructure on crucial grasslands, too many vehicles enter parks, some … Read More
Whither Forest Departments?
Armed with all the right buzzwords such as ‘participatory biodiversity conservation’; ‘use it or lose it’; ‘micro planning’; ‘stakeholder support’… which are liberally bandied about in project proposals to woo funding agencies, a coterie of ill-informed groups with many state forest departments in the middle, are now threatening the ecological foundations of wild India.
My first amateur attempts at conserving wildlife and forests, more than two decades ago, led me to interact with the forest department, which is entrusted with … Read More