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September 26, 2007
"Preserving tiger populations in India’s parks has been derailed by a ballooning human population and the lack of a clear management policy. Tigers are ecological stars for tourists and a rising Indian middle class. Others view the animals as a recreational
asset in the history of Indian sport. As late as the early 20th century, hunters shot tigers from the backs of elephants in elaborate safaris called “shikars.”
"In two years, India has lost thousands of square miles of forest, of which 14 are potential tiger habitat. And a number of parks are islands where the risk of inbreeding may lead to extinction. Management policies—dictated by the revenue that attends frequent
big cat sightings—have shortchanged the animals’ best interests.
Tigers in India’s parks are becoming mere products, as they’re seen by poachers and buyers of skins and other body parts."
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