Next time you are doing a Jeep Safari in Bandhavgarh remember you can identify the Tigers yourself. In a first of it’s kind the forest department of Bandhavgarh National Park has made a booklet of 24 Tigers in the tourism zone of Bandhavgarh.
During the census done through camera traps there are images captured of all the Tigers. Which means there are photos of over 2200 Tiger roaming the wilds of India. And out of these 24 can easily be identified by the tourists while doing a Jeep Safari in Bandhavgarh. Well, not so easily on the spot. First the tourist needs to buy this book. Then he needs to compare the photos of the Tigers that he has seen with those in the book. He can either check and find out himself. Maybe ask the guide and driver to show the Tiger in the booklet to him. It is kind of a Tiger checklist. Not on the same format as the bird checklist but the purpose is same.
What is the purpose of this? Simple, whenever you see a Tiger, and identify the same, you tend to make an emotional connect with it. There is a longing to get back to the park to see the same Tiger. If not the same maybe see the others in the book which the guest is yet to see. So it increases attachment to Tigers and wildlife. And with attachment increases awareness. With awareness increases care to conserve.
On being asked if this was making the job of poachers easy, Mr Raman the Field Director said, not at all. First, this book covers only 24 out of over 60 Tigers of Bandhavgarh. Secondly these Tigers are only from the core zone. The core zone is highly protected, and not easy for poachers to pick from. Thirdly if the poacher at all has to poach then it does not matter to him if he has poached A Tiger or B Tiger. What he is paid for is a Tiger. The value difference of a Tiger in the Tiger trade is not different because of identification.
My personal opinion is that this is a very good thought, and implementation of the same by the Management of Bandhavgarh National Park. Compliments to them for this pioneering effort.
So, next time you are doing a Jeep safari in Bandhavgarh, please do make it a point to pick up this book either from the resort you are staying in, or from the nature book shop.