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Indian village relocated to save tigers

Indian village relocated to save tigersAn entire Indian village was relocated as a means to save endangered Bengal tigers.  The village was located in Rajasthan.  It was in the heart of the tiger reserve, so Indian officials decided to move the entire village in order to protect the habitat for the tiger.  There were 82 families relocated from Umri village in Sariska Tiger Sanctuary.  The last of the villagers left during last week.  They were not moved without help, though.  The government offered land or about $19,000 USD, depending on their preference.

The relocation was not an easy task as many of the villagers needed to be persuaded that the move would be advantageous.  Relocating an entire village is never easy, according to the chief wildlife warden.  This is not the only village that has been relocated in India for sanctuary purposes.  Umri Village was actually a target since 2005 for relocation.  In 2005, it was found that not a single tiger was in the reserve due to poaching and the shrinking habitat they face with villages being within the borders.

Sariska has 11 villages in the core area.  Many of the tribes have lived in the sanctuary for centuries and they do not want to lose the jungle, as they depend on it for survival.  It also means there are conflicts with tigers that can feed off of their cows, goats and buffalo.  They have hunted the tigers to stop losing their farm animals, and also to make money from fur in extreme circumstances.

Jon Huser

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