Incredible India Saving the Tiger in the heart of India with Dharmendra Khandal
Ranthambore is an enchanting medieval kingdom of the Tiger where natural history, human history and wildlife is in abundance.
Ranthambore is one of the best places to see the Tiger.
Ranthambore is dominated by the 1000 year old fort which overlooks the forest.
Ranthambore certainly has a rich history. It was the hunting ground of the Maharaja of Jaipur and then went into decline. It was revived in the 1980s by the legendary Fateh Singh Rathore. Then in 1990s and early 2000s, it went into a second period of decline when tigers were poached and people encroached on the park. Tiger numbers plummeted to an all time low of 15 Tigers.
Conservation programs run by NGOs like Tiger Watch
with Dharmendra Khandal
as the Field Biologist have led to its revival with Tiger numbers at an all time high of 60 and another 8 tigers being translocated to revive Sariska forest as well.
Rising population and people’s dependency on the forest for firewood, grazing for their animals, and land for agriculture is a persisitent and grave threat.
Poaching of Tigers has decreased but killing of smaller animals for meat continues. Pangolin scales are seen as an alternative to Rhino horn and Pangolins are illegally hunted in Ranthmbore and sent to the Far East.
The spread of exotic Mexican weed Prosopis juliflora
is a serious conservation threat. The weed stays green year around and spreads rapidly. The leaves are rich in toxic alkaloids. It has stout sharp thorns with phenolic acid. Herbivores and even the Tiger stay away from it.
Over commercialized mass tourism disturbs the animals.
The success story
Ranthambore is a modern conservation success story.
Tiger - an iconic species - has been saved from an all time low popluation to an all time high population and growing.
Rewilding efforts have made previously uninhabitable areas habitable for Tigers and other herbivores in the food chain. This has been instrumental in achieving an all time high Tiger population.
Poaching of Tigers has been controlled. Repeat poachers have been rehabilitated.
Mass tourism has been successfully managed to reduce its impact.
Mines at the edge of the forest have been closed.
An effective network of conservationists such as Dharmendra Khandal
of Tiger Watch
keeps it in the limelight and in the public eye and improves the governance of the park.
The sketch shows day to day life in Ranthambore