Animals & Wildlife Magazine

China’s Fetish for the Wild Reaches Karnataka

By Teenagesaint @teenage_baba
Hear my roar...

Hear my roar...

The roar of the Karnataka tigers has reached the ears of China. China seems to be turning to Karnataka to meet the supply for its wildlife trade market, according to a wildlife researcher from Bengaluru. On the basis of the census of the tiger population, released in March this year, Karnataka with 300 tigers has overtaken Madhya Pradesh as the state with highest tiger population in India. So, it’s no wonder that the problem which was earlier concentrated in the national parks of Central India, seems to have crept into the forests of Karnataka.

The ecosystem of Karnataka has one of the healthiest forest covers and so is the reason for its large wildlife. As far as poaching is concerned it’s not just the tigers; the elephants, leopards, monitor lizards, snakes and even tortoises are at an equal risk. Surendra Varma, Research Officer and Member-International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Asian Elephant Specialist Group, feels that the lack of conflict mitigation, which is leading the local villagers to team up with poachers, and the shortage of manpower are the reasons why aggressive protection of the wildlife has not been  possible.  He also said that while all species of wildlife stand to lose in this trade, big cats, especially tigers, are in grave danger as every part, from the skin to teeth and claws, have a market.

The use of tiger parts in Chinese medicine is not new. For more than 1,000 years the use of tiger parts has been included in the traditional Chinese medicine regimen. Because of the tiger’s strength and mythical power, the Chinese culture believes that the tiger has medicinal qualities, which helps treat chronic ailments, cure disease and replenish the body’s essential energy. The driving force behind its poaching is the extremely high price that it fetches in the black markets.

The authorities need to rise up and fight the challenge faced by wildlife of the region. Resolving the issue of the locals would significantly help in the strong enforcement of the law.


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