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To improve conservation of the tiger throughout its range by building support among people living outside tiger reserves through community development initiatives, providing essential equipment and by establishing an award/incentive program for anti-poaching personnel.Sundarbans Tiger Reserve, West Bengal, India

The Sundarbans Tiger Reserve (STR) was created in 1973 and constituted as a Reserve Forest in 1978. The current core area was established as a National Park in 1984. Recognizing the region and its unique biodiversity, the National Park was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1985. The entire Sundarbans area was declared a Biosphere Reserve four years later.

Flora and Fauna
The Sundarbans is part of a vast estuary in the Bay of Bengal. These mangrove forests are the only tiger habitat of its kind in the world. The trees and other wildlife have adapted to the estuarine conditions of high salinity, lack of soil, erosion and daily overflow by high tides. An estimated 270 tigers are found here. Other fauna include fishing cat, spotted deer, wild boar, gangetic dolphin, water monitor, estuarian crocodile, river terrapin, olive ridley turtle, ground turtle, hawks bill turtle, king crab and others.

Overall Program Objectives
TigerAid and its local partners have developed a path-breaking project - the first of its kind in the Sundarbans - as an example of a successful community-based conservation project where both humans and tigers can co-exist together. This is being achieved by:

  • Generating awareness about the importance of long-term conservation of the Sundarbans through community education sessions within the villages

  • Improving tiger and prey base protection through intelligence gathering of poaching, logging and other illegal activities

  • Providing information, financial and technical assistance for vocational training programs

  • Initiation of joint forest management programs including anti-poaching patrols, water harvesting and soil conservation efforts

  • Improvement of basic village infrastructures

    Program Update

    September 5, 2002 – A male tiger strayed into the village of Satyanarayanpur where it was successfully captured by local villagers and forest officials, tranquilized and relocated. This was the first time a tiger was relocated by villagers rather than being killed.

    Upcoming Programs

    TigerAid is currently in discussions to establish community-based tiger conservation programs in other tiger ranges in:

    Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, Malaysia and Vietnam.

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