Vendredi 24 Septembre, l'acteur américain Leonardo Di Caprio a rencontré à New York le ministre de l'environnement indien, Jairam Ramesh, en marge d'un forum international sur les forêts ombrophiles. Il a fait part à ce dernier de son envie de jouer un rôle important pour sensibiliser l'opinion à la cause du tigre indien.
NEW DELHI (AFP) – Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio will put his fame to work to raise global awareness about India's dwindling number of tigers, an official said Saturday.
DiCaprio and India's Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh met at a reception Friday in New York organised by the Coalition of Rainforest Nations, an inter-governmental organisation.
"The actor met the minister and has expressed his interest to play a crucial role in sensitising the global community to the cause of the Indian tiger," a senior environment ministry told AFP in New Delhi.
"DiCaprio plans to come to India to be a part of the conservation efforts," the official said, asking not to be named.
India's endangered tiger population has plummeted to 1,350 -- just over a third of the 3,700 estimated to be alive in 2002.
Earlier this year, Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan joined a campaign to protect the tiger.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, alarmed by the dwindling number of tigers, set up two years ago a national wildlife crime prevention bureau, drawing experts from the police, environmental agencies and customs to end poaching.
The government has enlisted former soldiers to be part of a "tiger protection force" in state-run sanctuaries.
But despite the new measures, poachers killed 32 tigers in 2009 and three this year, according to the Wildlife Protection Society of India.
Tiger hunting is illegal worldwide and the trade in tiger parts is banned under a treaty binding 167 countries, including India.
But demand is driven by China, Thailand, Myanmar and other Asian nations where pelts, claws and bones are prized in traditional medicine, environmentalists say.
Un rapport publié récemment oriente la politique de renforcement des populations de tigres en Inde sur la sauvegarde de 18 sites possédant de nombreux jeunes âgés de un an. Le but est de passer, en une douzaine d'années, de 1000 à 3000 individus sur 10% du territoire.
Voir ci dessous l'article consacré à ce sujet le 23 septembre dans l'Hindustan Times par le journaliste Chetan Chauhan.
“India provides powerful, contrasting examples of what works and what does not for saving tigers,” said the report, Bringing the Tiger Back from Extinction. It described India’s bid to save tigers as “confused”.
“Instead of announcing new tiger reserves (which increased from 27 to 39 in two years) the government should focus on providing on best habitats where tigers can survive,” said an expert.
The study by 23 global wildlife experts under the aegis of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) provides solutions and will be released by Russian president Vladimir Putin in November as part of Global Tiger Initiative, to which India is a signatory.
For India, the recommendation is clear: concentrate on 16 source sites, which have 1,000 tigers over one year of age and can support up to 1,500 tigers, rather than “over wider landscapes”.
The study has identified 42 “source sites”, each with over 25 breeding tigresses, of which 18 are in India.
The best sites in India (see graphic) are Kaziranga tiger reserve in Assam with density of 16.8, where the density can increase to 18 and three sites in Central India and two in Western Ghats, where the density can increase by 60-70 percent.
“These sites have potential for providing safe homes to tigers but we need specific policy framework for this,” said Ravi Chellam, Director of WCS India, whose research contributed to the study.
Protecting and conserving these habitats could mean that number of tigers increases to 3,000 tigers in only 10 per cent of suitable habitat.
Voir aussi la découverte de tigres au Bouthan, à plus de 4000 mètres d'altitude (BBC video). Le biologiste Alan Rabinowitz y voit le "chaînon manquant" permettant de compléter un corridor naturel pour les tigres sur l'ensemble de l'Asie orientale.
A team from the BBC Natural History Unit captured the images using hidden cameras wedged into gullies and trees over six weeks during an expedition to Bhutan.
Wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan said he was reduced to tears the first time he saw the footage.
He was quoted as saying: "It was beyond words, pretty overwhelming. We were there about six weeks. For me the whole purpose of the expedition was to film evidence of the tigers living in Bhutan so all the effort and everything we did came down to a few seconds of footage."
He added, "This is such a significant discovery for tiger survival. The tigers' behaviour suggests they are breeding and I am convinced that there must now be cubs somewhere on this mountain. At current rates tigers will become extinct in around 15 years."
Conservationist Dr Alan Rabinowitz said the discovery took them one step closer to an ambitious plan to link up isolated tiger populations across Asia with a "corridor" where they are safe from humans. The team also captured film of the elusive snow leopard.
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