A recent report by the World Wide Fund for Nature highlights that human impact can lead to extinction of more than two-thirds of the planet’s wildlife by the end of the decade. While such extinction will perhaps be predicated mostly on the ecological changes that human activity brings about, in India, in the case of the tiger, it is poaching that threatens to wipe the animal out. While the government has done well to use technology to record the tiger population—more tigers were reported in the Sunderbans owing to camera traps—it has not been able to make similar use of gadgetry in tackling the poaching menace.
To be sure, stringent anti-poaching laws have helped curb illegal killing of wildlife in the country. But, as a recent report in The Times of India points out, the mortality figure for tigers over the last few years was the highest since 2010. While 76 deaths—of these 42 were caused by poaching—have been reported till October this year, there has been a rise in seizures of tiger body parts too, from 8 incidents in 2015 to 20 this year. Along with strict laws, the government needs to have cutting edge monitoring—for instance, radio/GPS tagging of tigers to track movement and generate GPS-based imagery to check for health. This can also be implemented for leopards, rhinos and elephants, other important wildlife species that are threatened by incessant poaching.