Striking a balance between tourism to fund tiger conservation and disturbing the tigers
This is a video from Twitter which indicates to me that the managers of this tiger reserve (and I don't know which one it is) have got things wrong. They have allowed too many tourists in vehicles to visit the reserve which is disturbing the tigers.
|Striking a balance between tourism to raise money for tiger conservation against disturbance to tigers. The pictures are from different reserves. Image by MikeB of PoC.|
These disturbances cause stress in tigers. Tourists in vehicles can upset the behaviour of tigers. And I'm going to suggest that the stress element can become so serious that it can prevent matings and of course successful breeding is part of tiger conservation. A critical part.
There is a very difficult balance to be struck between allowing tourists to visit a tiger reserve to raise money to maintain the reserve to, in turn, benefit the conservation of tigers in India and the negative impact that tourists can have on tiger conservation if there are too many of them.
Striking this balance between the economic benefits of tourism at tiger reserves and the impact it has on the tigers is a complex issue that requires careful consideration and management. On the one hand, tourism can bring much-needed revenue for the protection and conservation of tigers and their habitats, but on the other hand, if not managed properly, it can also cause disturbance to the tigers and negatively affect their behavior and well-being.
To strike a balance, it is important to follow sustainable tourism practices that prioritize the health and welfare of the tigers. This can include limiting the number of visitors allowed in the reserves, restricting access to certain areas, and ensuring that visitors follow guidelines to minimize their impact on the tigers.
Additionally, effective management and monitoring of tourism activities can help ensure that they do not interfere with the natural behavior of the tigers and that the money generated from tourism is used for conservation efforts.
It is also important to educate tourists about the importance of respecting the tigers and their habitats, and to encourage them to be responsible and conscious tourists.
In summary, striking a balance between tourism and tiger conservation requires a multi-faceted approach that involves careful planning and management, implementation of sustainable tourism practices, monitoring and enforcement, and education and awareness-raising among tourists.
Below is a rather technical extract from a study on how tourists can cause stress and tigers and reserves. They measured stress by measuring faecal glucocorticoid metabolite concentrations. It's a modern way of measuring stress in tigers and it's meant to be very accurate. The word 'anthropogenic' means human! Why they can't use the word 'human' is beyond me.
"Our study showed that wildlife tourism can cause distinct physiological stress in tigers in PAs. A significant positive correlation was observed between fGCM (faecal glucocorticoid metabolite) concentrations and the number of vehicles visiting BTR. These results are concordant with results of other studies on various wildlife species. Bhattacharjee et al. (2015) demonstrated that reintroduced tigers show high fGCM levels when challenged by anthropogenic disturbance such as traffic, human encounters and manned livestock."
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