Project Tiger gathers international funds to protect the habitat of this species threatened by poachers.
It was precisely in a national park surrounded by deserts that the Asian lion was saved from extinction, which was achieved thanks to the fact that the lion was the national animal of India. And this provided the inspiration for Karan Singh to undertake the even more ambitious project for the conservation of the tiger.
The success of the Tiger project is based on the understanding that, in order to save the species, we have to protect its habitat. It was no longer a question of watching over and caring for a given animal but rather of saving the jungles in which the tigers lived, along with the prey they need to feed themselves. A pioneering vision which today guides all conservation projects.
In the interior of the last refuges of the Siberian tiger or the Amur tiger, teams of scientists take samples and carry out censuses of the tigers. This is part of an ambitious project financed by conservationist organisations from all over the world, especially the WWF, aimed at saving the Siberian tiger.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, there has been an alarming decrease in the numbers of Siberian tigers. Across the Chinese border, which lies close to the last refuges of the Siberian tiger, the poachers have opened up a very lucrative trade route, taking advantage of the lack of means of the Russian Wildlife Department.
With international funds, the Siberian Tiger Project is fighting against this illegal traffic. While the scientists investigate in order to create an appropriate conservation plan, new patrols and new teams are joining the fight to save the tiger.In Russia, India, Indochina or any of the other countries that still have tigers, the situation of the tigers of the world is so alarming that constant monitoring by the guards is necessary.
The territorial nature of the tigers makes it easy to monitor them and to carry out censuses, but the jungles in which they live are not easy places to move around in. In many parks, the elephant is the best, safest vehicle. But, when the trail of a poacher is detected, great care is needed, and the men must enter the territory of the tigers on foot.
A wounded tiger and an armed poacher are equally dangerous, and that means that the park wardens require exhaustive training, something which costs a lot of money.
The conservationist organisations provide part of the budgets but the parks are now becoming increasingly self-financing.