This Article is From Jul 15, 2012

Are tourism resorts fragmenting tiger landscape?

Are tourism resorts fragmenting tiger landscape?
New Delhi: Is tourism disturbing our big cats and should tourism be banned in the core areas of our tiger reserves? Well, that's what some activists say, but there are others who believe that it's time the Indian government change its attitude towards tiger conservation and tiger tourism and that tigers cannot be loved in isolation.

While the debate among conservationists over this is passionate on both sides, it's the Supreme Court that will now decide as it is currently hearing arguments after a PIL was filed by activist Ajay Dubey.

"Tourism is disturbing tigers because jeeps in parks upset animals," says Mr Dubey.

But many conservationists have opposed the move, even calling it preposterous though all agree there is definitely scope for better management of parks.

Tourism lodges have mushroomed without check around most of our popular tiger parks often causing disturbance.

"While we need tourism, we also need to control it. Too many lodges means too much disturbance," says Ravi Singh, Chief, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) India.

The key also lies in making tourism benefit those that live near the parks so that they have a stake in its management and popularity.