Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tiger Killed Again

A gang of poachers entered a high-security zoo in Itanagar in the Arunachal Pradesh state of India, and hacked a tiger to death last night. The poachers tranquilised the six-year-old tigress before entering its enclosure and cutting it into six pieces. The arrival of security guards prevented the poachers from carrying away the mutilated animal. The poaching and smuggling of tiger body parts is common across India. The animals are prized throughout East Asia in general and China in particular for the supposed medicinal value of their body parts.
Tiger numbers have shrunk alarmingly in India in recent decades. A 2011 census counted about 1,700 tigers in the wild. A century ago there were estimated to be 100,000 tigers in India. There have been attempts at poaching animals in the zoo before, officials say. In February 2006, three tigers and a leopard were poisoned by unknown people. One tiger died, while the other two other animals survived. In June 2006, 30kg (66lb) of tiger parts - mainly bones and nails - were seized from a vehicle belonging to a police officer in Assam state. This is again a very unfortunate incident of an innocent animal being killed because of the greed of humans. There must be tight security arrangements to save these helpless animals from the cruel hands of poachers. Else, one day there will be no tigers or any other majestic animal left on the earth.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

100 Species at Risk of Extinction

The spoon-billed sandpiper, three-toed sloth and a long-beaked echidna are among the 100 most endangered species in the world, according to a new study. The list of at-risk species has been published as conservationists warn that rare mammals, plants and fungi are being sacrificed as their habitats are appropriated for human use. Conservationists fear the species in 48 countries may die out because they don’t offer obvious benefits to humans! The list is headed by the ‘weird and wonderful’ spoon-billed sandpiper which breeds in Russia and migrates to Bangladesh and Myanmar. There are just 100 breeding pairs of the birds left in the wild with that number declining by a quarter annually.

There are also just 500 pygmy three-toed sloths left on the uninhibited Isla Escudo de Veraguas, 10 miles off the coast of Panama. They are half the size of sloths found on the mainland and are the smallest and slowest sloths in the world. But their numbers are declining with fishermen and lobster divers ‘opportunistically’ hunting the small animals. Man’s greed and barbaric attitude towards animals has made it increasingly difficult for conservationists to protect the most threatened species on the planet. While the utilitarian value of nature is important, conservation goes beyond this. Do these species have a right to survive or do we have a right to drive them to extinction??? If we take immediate action we can give them a fighting chance for survival. But this requires society to support the moral and ethical position that all species have an inherent right to exist.