The number of tigers in various wildlife reserves of the country has dwindled drastically over

the years. According to the Department of National Park and Wildlife Reserve (DNPWR), tigers, including some of the rarest species of wild animals such as the endangered rhinoceros, crocodiles, and gaurs, are fast declining and have become a grave concern for wildlife conservationists. In Shuklaphant Wild Life Reserve alone, which is considered to be the biggest and the safest sanctuary for tigers, the number of tigers has declined to 6-14 as compared to around 44-78 in 2006.

In a press conference organised in the capital, DNPWR said that behind this unexpected decline in the number of these animals is the growing number of poachers, who have a strong network and are equipped with sophisticated weapons, that make it all the easier for them to kill and smuggle wild animals. Wildlife reserves are manned by heavy security round the clock. The poachers must penetrate the security shield to get into the reserve, kill and smuggle wild animals. It is hardly difficult to guess, therefore, that the poachers either take advantage of security lapses or have the protection of insiders or those in authority. The government should not only tighten security in the wildlife reserves throughout the country but also take appropriate measures to conserve these beautiful creatures for posterity.