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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Nations united against China, Vietnam ‘tiger medicine’

WEDNESDAY, 16 MAY 2012 23:59 PIONEER NEWS SERVICE | NEW DELHI China and Vietnam on Wednesday justified making of traditional medicines with bones and body parts of captive tigers, leading to a strong protest from participating countries at the ongoing three-day Global Tiger Recovery Programme (GTRP). Both claimed that it was legal to make traditional medicines with bones of captive tigers and that these medicines are used for research purposes in its universities and schools. China also refused to come up with any concrete commitments to stop making of traditional medicines with tiger parts. According to sources, as signatories to the Global Tiger Initiative, both nations have been asked to tighten up anti-poaching measures. China, which claimed to have a wild tiger population of 40 to 50 cats, has four species of tigers - the Amur, South China, Indo-China and Royal Bengal. India, along with Nepal and Russia, shares top rank in big cat conservation among 13 tiger range countries. According to sources, India claimed to have not only spent $20 million in village relocation from tiger reserves, but has also recently added 2,594 sq km of tiger reserves, taking total area to above 50,000 sq km. The successful reintroduction of tigers in the wild at Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh has also added a new chapter in conservation. Taking cue from India’s success story, Russia too claimed to begin its reintroduction programme of tigers, Siberian tigers having become extinct from the country. It is carrying out habitat revival strategies with focus on increasing prey base. The population of snow leopards and sambars has shown an increase since the last global tiger meet. Nepal vied for top honours in tiger conservation for stepping up its anti-poaching measures. It claimed that not a single rhino or tiger had been poached during the past 14 months. The meeting also revealed major coordination lapses between the forest departments, NGOs, customs and the police departments in controlling wildlife crime. “It was discussed with dismay that the network of poachers worked with more coordinated approach than the protectors,” the gathering noted.

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