Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sundarban Tiger Attacks and Killings

Over the past two weeks, MAP has been following the situation regarding tigers in the Sundarbans region of Bangladesh in conflict with villagers there. To encourage discussion and action on this issue, we are pasting copies of the emails we have received, in hopes of spreading further discussion about these important issues. You comments are welcomed and encouraged.

16 comments:

  1. Sept 3
    Dear All,
    Last night I mail you about one tiger enters into the locality. Very early in this morning, it was went back to the Sundarbans. It has eaten 1 goat, I dog and killed another 2 goats. Since from the mid-night, the Forest department, Local Tiger Response team present there. Though the tiger went back, but people of that area are afraid and it may come tonight. It has been coming human inhabitant last 8 days. It entered to the community 5-7 times in eight days.
    People of this area are so annoyed and terrified. It will be difficult to save this tiger if interns again.
    Thousand of people gathered there and demanding that we could not move and normal work even in the very evening (even 6.30pm). We have to stay in side the house. It is not a human life. If Government not taken any protection measure like catch the tiger and send to the Zoo or Safari Part or in deep forest we must kill her.
    In May 2010, One tiger was disturbing in the same area, and it was secret murder. If Government do not take any immediate action, it is become same though we have some new law of tiger conservation. Please create pressure to the relevant department to take immediate action.
    Look forward your action.
    Best regards,
    Mohon
    Executive Director
    LEDARS(Local Environment Development and Agricultural Research Society)
    Head Office
    Village: Munshigonj, Post Office: Kadamtala
    Upazila-Shyamnagar, District- Satkhira. P.C- 9455
    Bangladesh

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sept 3
    Dear Mohon
    Is it possible to establish some sort of local feeding program where goats can be raised exclusively to feed such marauding tigers to keep them away from the local villages where they otherwise get into trouble and cause harm? If goats could be raised and brought to a certain area to feed the tiger's hunger, it might leave the settlements alone, as I am guessing these tigers are finding normal hunting difficult and are rather desperate when they enter a human settlement.
    My suggestion is only a guess, so I am not sure it would work, but I figure that if the tiger finds adequate food in its own forest territory, it will not look to human settlements for its dietary needs.
    Cheers,
    Alfredo Quarto,
    Exec Dir
    MAP

    ReplyDelete
  3. SEPT 3
    Greetings from LEDARS!
    Tonight a Royal Bengal Tiger came across the river and staying in a hut in the human settlement in Chunkuri village, Munshigonj Union of Shyamnagar upazila. Forest department, Tiger Response Team, and other civil society organization now in the spot. all of we are trying to protect the tiger. Please give pressure to forest department to protect the tiger at any cost.
    For asking the update you may contact the following no;
    ACF, Burigoalini Forest Station +88 01712550815
    DC, Satkhira-+88 01715212277
    UNO, Shyamnagar-+88 01712240919
    Please also suggest them, though it is a man eater tiger, so Govt. can tranquillize and catch that and move to the Safari Part or other Park of the Country.
    We want to see a success to protect a tiger.
    Best regards,
    Mohon

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sept 4
    Dear Mohon,
    We are glad that our tiger response team is there. It's perhaps not safe to say that it's a man-eater. There are many reasons for a tiger to come to human habitation. Please don't call it a man-eater until you are absolutely sure about it.
    All my best wishes.
    Anwar
    Professor
    Department of Zoology
    University of Dhaka, Dhaka 1000
    Bangladesh

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sept 6
    Dear Anwar Sir,
    Thanks for your nice comments. You are right that we should not say that without any justification. It may not a man-eater. It has not attack any human.
    You know that the tiger came back again the next night and took away a dog. What do you think about the remedy?
    Looking forward your opinion.
    Best regards,
    Mohon

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sept 6
    Dear Mohon,
    I may well imagine how you are feeling about the situation. You are one of the most sensible persons I have ever met. In a crisis time the patience you have is really something to appreciate. As you are close to the scene we rather want to be guided by you. As a local leader I am sure your assistance in human management would be invaluable. Please talk to FD, help WTB crew get organised, and use your prudence.
    Best regards.
    Anwar

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sept 6
    Dear Mr Alfredo Quarto,
    I read about your letter to Hon,ble Forest Minister of Bangladesh regarding straying tiger in Sunderban.
    It was really interesting to me since in Indian Sunderban, such incidence of tiger straying out of mangrove forest into adjoining villages, is a very common phenomena. Such man-tiger conflict situation is very effectively handled by W.Bengal forest Department staff, either by tranquilizing or trap caging the straying tiger and releasing it back to the deep forest. During last two decades, we have relocated more than fifty straying tigers, without any casualty for tiger or man. Launching joint forest management, involving local people, and implementing eco-development activities in forest fringe villages, has been the most effective strategy towards conservation of Bengal tigers whose no. is around 250 in Indian Sunderban. In my previous capacity, I worked as Director, Sunderban Biosphere Reserve, and I was the Project coordinator for Indo-Bangla joint Sunderban project, undertaken during 2002-04, with UNDP and Ted Turner Foundation Fund support.
    Any further query in the matter will be gladly replied to.
    Regards
    Yours Sincerely
    A.K.Raha, IFS
    Principal C.C.F and Head of Forest Force.
    Govt of W.Bengal
    India

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sept 6
    I don't think you want tiger to become dependent on goat or they will not hunt. Also they will take other goats besides those offered as a sacrifice. I think it's a question for the tiger wildlife biologist.
    Jim - Thailand

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sept 7
    Dear A.K.Raha, IFS
    Thanks very much for your informative and encouraging reply. This seems like very good advice. I am cc'ng Mohon of LEDARS in Bangladesh to see if he can contact you directly on this matter. It does seem that what you are suggesting is the best method to protect both the local communities and the tigers from harm. Please let us know how this all works out. We would also like to publish your recommended solution to this problem in our next newsletter so that others faced with this difficult situation can act accordingly. If you wish to write a short article for our MAP News on how you integrated the plan to save both tigers and villagers from harm, please do so. A one or two page article would be good! We can then share this with our wider readership.
    Cheers,
    Alfredo Quarto,
    MAP

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sept 7
    I know that it will be very difficult to sense less the tiger in the forest and move to the other places like Safari Park, Zoo or deep forest. But what will happen if the tiger come again and attack any human? It also will be impossible to control the mob that time and the tiger may be kill. The forest people saying that, if necessary they will take immediate action. What they mean by "necessary"? It mean that if tiger killed any man then they take action? I talked to some people of FD. They are demanding fireworks, touch light. It could be manage a little time such way, but not for long time. You may know that some people from Bangladesh and World sending mail to the State Minister, CCF, Secretary demanding move this tiger to other places. I don't know that what do you thinking about the solution. But really we want to save this tiger. We, our CSO, volunteer here ready to support to control the crucial situation if happen.
    Please talk to relevant people about solution.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Best regards,
    Mohon

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sept 7
    Mohon;
    I am glad to see you are in touch with Anwar, and I hope Ashraf can also communicate directly with you. Perhaps this exchange will help create a regional response team that can help reduce the risks for both human and tiger populations. The work that Anwar describes in India seems a good solution, but as Ashaf points out, there is urgent need to protect both habitat and prey animals to allow the tiger to regain its area and food source from the wild. In this way these tigers may stay clear of human settlements.
    Meanwhile, let's hope those letters from around the globe pour in to help pressure your government to act appropriately to this tense situation!
    Cheers,
    Alfredo
    Exec Dir
    Mangrove Action Project

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sept 7
    Large obligate carnivores in felid guild prefer to hunt mega-herbivores in tropical and semi-tropical ecosystem. In other words, tigers can not survive by hunting small size prey as such goat. It needs 3000-3500 kg of meat per year that must need to be come from medium to large ungulates (hoofed mammals). In the context of Bangladesh, Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) subspecies depends on healthy supply of Cervidae (Deer) and Suidae (Wild Pig) population mainly the Chital deer (Axis axis) and wild boar (Sus scrofa) respectively. Hunting efficiency of wild felids in Panthera genera, (Panthera pardus or Leopard, Panthera onca or Jaguar, Panthera leo or Lion, Panthera tigris or Tiger and often Puma concolor or Mountain lion), lies between 8-10% per year. It means individual adult tiger can crop up 50 deer from the base population size of 500 prey animals. In order to secure long-term population viability for the wild tigers, conserving and scientific monitoring of prey population is one of the top-most fundamental priority for wildlife managers, conservationists, and carnivore biologist focused on felidae population management in tropical belt. Unlike poaching tigers for its body parts which is visually more direct, the negative subtle impact of prey loss can have potentially devastating impact on wild tiger population viability on the long run. With out the high density of deer population per sq km, there is little hope that tigers of the Sundarbans can survive on the long run therefore conservation management must focus on sustaining and managing healthy prey base of Chital deer in the Sundarbans.
    Ideas of introducing goat or to feed tigers with goat or anything in relation to cattle depredation by tigers in or around the Sundarbans must need to be entertained in the light of tiger's fundamental ecological, behavioural, demographical and phylogenteic resiliency and limits before making any concerted decision or to indulge into public debate.
    Hope this help. Many Thanks!
    Ashraf

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sept 9
    It is a pleasure to share my academic expertise with MAP and its global associations working tirelessly to bring about sustainable resource management practice with primary focus on mangrove biota across the planet. Thank you also for sharing the regional concerns of man-tiger friction in or around the buffer zones of the Bangladesh Sundarbans. My observation suggests, human-tiger conflict is not uncommon in the western part of the Bangladesh Sundarbans as these conflicts are not uncommon in other continents (For example, Jaguar-Human conflict in South America, Mountain Lion or Coyote-Human conflict in North America, Leopard or Lion-Human conflict particularly with Maasai tribe in Africa) where large carnivores live.
    Although the intensity or the magnitude of the negative impacts surrounding tigers’ killing human or domestic cattle may be exaggerated in some degree. Basic understanding relating to tiger’s social organization and its demographic stages may help local communities to appreciate that the tiger some people may be refereeing as ferocious man-eater wandering in the buffer zone of the Sundarbans, may be simply a transient ‘floater’. These are the tigers trying to establish their home range hence often wanders many kilometers and range across several breeders’ territories, constantly looking for vacancies to settle down. There are other social and ecological reasons that may cause the tiger to wander off from its usual territorial boundaries or home range.
    If a reference paper incorporating basic ecology of tigers based on solid science of carnivore population management in the human dominated landscape can pose the potential to modernize the understanding of the local people and the NGOs involved in tiger conservation program in-situ in Sundarbans, then I would be more than happy to contribute a small chapter as deemed necessary by the editors. Let me know the editorial guidelines and the word limits.
    Best! Ashraf

    ReplyDelete
  14. SEPT 10
    Dear Alfredo,
    Thanks for writing me. You have to undarstand the culture, tension of people of Bangladesh different then the India. Our people, FD know the theory what Mr. Raha mentioned. Indian people are conservation minded, bot we are not that. For that it will be not essay to move tiger if it come to the locality. Yesterday, I mention in my mail that the forest department tried to send back to the forest. For that they could open the forest side. The tiger jumped to go forest. But it fall in a canal. When it fall to the water, the mobbed people bite them in the front of law enforcement authority, like Police, FD and Coast Guard.
    Main problem is people awareness and misconception.
    A. People think that this tiger is Man-eater, for that it came human locality,
    B. The tiger which came once in a human settlement, it must come again and harm them,
    C. They (tiger) are their enemy. Because a lot of people killed by tiger attack every year.
    D. At the time of British and Pakistan Government in Bangladesh, people who hunt the tiger was awarded. Pachabddi Gazi was famous tiger hunter in Shyamnagar and awarded by Government that time. So people want to be here by killing tiger.
    People could not patient in this kind of situation. In the Sundarbans adjacent area there have some Village Tiger Response Team by WTB. But main problem is lack of awareness of mass people. It urgently need a awareness raising program and engage more local people to in this kind of activity like rapid action team. Engage local CBOs to this kind of activity, etc. We have 30 Eco-clubs in Shyamnagar. We are talking to this clubs. We already disseminated one leaflet in Bengali and trying to print another one for awareness creation and what people do if tiger come in locality withing our small capacity.
    Looking forward to hear from you.
    Best regards,
    Mohon

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sept 10
    Dear Mohon,
    Yes, a more extensive community awareness plan must be set up, and a more effective mode of dealing with intruding tigers by the FD is needed to show local community members that the FD is dealing effectively with the problem, so they are safe from a marauding tiger. If the locals feel secure in the methods of dealing with live capture of tigers, they may not panic and turn into a frenzied mob.
    Cheers,
    Alfredo

    ReplyDelete
  16. Tiger feeding program can prevent tiger-human conflict. I am interested to set up projects in Forests (wild tiger home) all over the world. Anyone interested are welcome to write

    Joydip Das

    ReplyDelete