More Dogs than Tigers in Indian Tiger Reserves

August 05, 2020, The Liberacy:- Tiger Reserves are the most valued entity at the current stage in India with a fear of them being at the tip of an Extinction edge.
In a recent All India Tiger Survey, camera traps were used to detect the habit of the peripheral and deep forest at 17 major tiger reserves.
The result highlighted the presence of Domestic Dogs in the region at a larger number.

Environment Ministry of the Government of India has said, with a claim that the Domestic Dogs are on the peripheral forest away from the core.

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Tiger Reserves
Tiger Reserves

The 7 Tiger Reserves out of 17, Nagarjunsagar, Bhadra, Melghat, Pench, Panna, Bhandhavgarh & Sariska account for more than 400 tigers in India.
The other 10 included in the survey report highlighted “Very Few” or “No tigers.”

There are 30 other tiger reserves that were accounted for having a significant amount of livestock, some even at the core.

The major concern of the presence of Domestic Dogs is the Virus that they may carry.
Canine Distemper Virus is the threat that holds potential in these types of circumstances.
Dogs are mostly affected by this Virus and there is no perfectly-curing vaccine for the virus and it can transmit in the first 5 days.

If Dogs reach the Core of the Tiger Reserve, there is a high chance of them being eaten by a tiger, and if the prey is affected by this Virus, there is a high risk of death of the Tiger.

The second threat that these Dogs possess is the take-away of the prey from wild animals. It affects the eating habitat of the Wild Canids who is more endangered than Tiger (IUCN Red List)

These Dogs are mostly abandoned and have reached the reserves in groups. These abandoned animals make-up a significant amount of India’s 200 million cattle population.

In Spiti area of Himachal Pradesh, there have been reports of these Dogs hunting more than Snow Leopards. Also, reported that these Dogs even kill the Cubs of Leopards and takes away the kills of Wolves or even chase away Hyenas.

The hunting behavior of Dogs has affected the Stress pattern of Nilgai in the region.

In a report published in 2018 by Zoological Society of London in their journal “Animal Conservation”, highlights the attacking pattern of Dogs.
Dogs attacked 80 species in recent years, out of which, 21 are in the IUCN Red List.

Most of the attacks were by a pack of Dogs or even sometimes accompanied by Humans.
The breeding ground of “The Great Indian Bustards” are not safe from these attacks.

Way Forward…

There should be responsible ownership of the dogs and strict laws to protect abandoned dogs in the region of high species variety or reserves.
Population control of Domestic animals is a measure that must be given proper attention to, as it will solve any such future problems.

Biological Conservations, in 2017, published a report which said, that Dogs were responsible for the extinction of 11 vertebrates and pose a threat to at least 188 species worldwide.

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