Happy Global Tiger Day! Below are three things you can do right now to save wild tigers:
1. Support grassroots organizations working in tiger habitat. I have spent the last 5 years working with and getting to know the local organizations doing the most impactful work in central India. Tiger Research and Conservation Trust, the Last Wilderness Foundation, and the Satpuda Foundation all employ and empower local people, work 24/7, on-the-ground in and around Tiger Reserves, and work with India’s government. Donations to these organizations do not go towards marketing schemes and other overhead expenses that many international organizations have. If you are based in the US and are interested in supporting these organizations, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Support US legislation such as the Big Cat Public Safety Act and other bills that provide funds to international wildlife conservation. The Big Cat Public Safety Act is likely to be voted on later this year. If you are in the US, contact your national government representatives to tell them to adopt the Act as a law to address the US captive tiger crisis. If you are in India, sign this petition: https://change.org/indiansforthebigcatpublicsafetyact.
3. Have an active voice in environmental legislation in India. Until August 11, 2020, the public can comment on the draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) 2020. There are several reasons that the draft EIA 2020 is bad for tigers and their habitat, and the environment and democracy in general. For example, development projects such as mining can start construction before obtaining environmental clearance. In addition, public input on several types of development projects would be made impossible. For the past couple of weeks, the government has attempted to censor Indian citizens and organizations from campaigning against the draft EIA 2020. We need to show international solidarity on this issue. You can watch this video on Mongabay India for more information: india.mongabay.com/2020/06/video-how-does-the-new-draft-eia-affect-the-environment-and-me/. Email email@example.com with the subject line “Withdraw draft EIA 2020” and tell them that a stronger environmental law is needed to protect tigers and to safeguard our own health.
In Wild Tiger’s first effort to work with Tiger Range Countries (nations where wild tigers are found) on issues related to captive tigers, we partnered with Sanctuary Asia an online campaign. First, Sanctuary Asia published Sarika’s article, Roadside Tigers in the United States, which highlighted the tiger crisis in the United States (US) and publicized the article and campaign on Sanctuary Asia's Instagram. This ensured that our message reached a broad target audience. Second, we created shareable resources online. These include images to use on social media sites in hopes that people will share the story of #tigersinamerica.
The campaign's primary aim is to gather signatures on a petition to the US Congress, which urges the US to adopt the Big Cat Public Safety Act as a federal law. The secondary goal of the campaign is to create momentum for a sustained effort of people from India and other Tiger Range Countries to influence policies related to captive tigers around the world.
My mom and I have made over 100 animal-themed face masks over the past couple of months! Inside my house, an entire room transformed into a face mask factory. I have spent many hours cutting and ironing fabric while my mom sits behind the sewing machine. It has been great bonding time, and we continue to make them (available to order online here).
Stay positive and test negative. A big thank you to everyone who has supported Wild Tiger through the purchase of a face mask.
Bi-monthly updates from the Wild Tiger team with occasional guest blog posts and personal field updates from Sarika Khanwilkar.