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Tribune News Service
Dehradun, June 18
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has taken strong exception to tiger pictures and their locations being circulated on the social media taking it as a grave threat to the stripped cat.
In recent years, it has been a trend, particularly among wildlife lovers, to share pictures of tigers on WhatsApps groups and Facebook pages. Taking its cognizance, National Tiger Conservation Authority, an apex body in the country working for tiger conservation, has now issued directives to all the chief wildlife warden of tiger range states to shun such practice among its forest staff.
In a letter dated June 17 to Dr Vaibhav C Mathur, Assistant Inspector-General of Forests, held that NTCA had received information of tiger photographs as well as camera trap pictures of tigers getting circulated on WhatsApps groups and Facebook pages, which leads to highlighting of animal’s location. “This has the potential to be used for committing wildlife crimes being in public domain and thus no such photograph or information be shared on WhatsApps groups and Facebook pages,” Dr Mathur said.
Appreciating the NTCA orders, RBS Rawat, former head of Uttarakhand forest force, said the move was highly appreciable. “Of course, the circulation of tiger pictures and locations in public domain like Facebook and WhatsApps should not be done and such acts can certainly belittle tiger conservation efforts as it can make the animal vulnerable to poaching,” RBS Rawat pointed out.
Also welcoming NTCA’s directive, wildlife conservationist Dr AK Singh said certainly social media like Facebook, if used to reveal the presence of tiger in a particular area, could be dangerous for the tiger.
“It is certainly a good precaution. Though often people do not give the exact location or place of tiger while posting tiger pictures on social media but there are chances of information leakage and with poachers using technology, it could be disastrous,” Dr Singh pointed out.
Besides, the chief wildlife warden of tiger range said the NTCA directives had been sent to the Additional Director, Wildlife Crime Bureau, New Delhi, field directors of all the tiger reserves and NTCA offices in the country.