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Global Tiger Patrol

Global Tiger Patrol (GTP) is a conservation agency prioritising protection of the tiger in the field and funding projects that support Tiger and habitat conservation.

Founded in 1989, Global Tiger Patrol (GTP) is a conservation agency prioritising protection of the tiger in the field. If the wild tiger became extinct, most experts agree that it is extremely doubtful whether it could ever be reintroduced. The tiger, the pre-eminent symbol of the wild, would be gone forever, and with it, Asia’s wilderness.

GTP concentrates its work in India, as the subcontinent is home to about 50% of the world’s remaining wild tigers.

GTP’s expertise is tigers but its conservation work helps save Asia’s animals – from mighty elephants and rhinos to ants and beetles. As the tiger is at the top of the food chain, nature can only thrive under its umbrella. If the insects and animals that pollinate trees and fertilise the ground die out, the survival of the forests and jungles will be threatened.

Protection: Most reserves are short-staffed and ill-equipped – GTP provides equipment such as binoculars, jeeps, high-speed patrol boats, jungle equipment and training.

Habitat conservation & reclamation: Without its habitat, the tiger cannot survive. GTP co-operates with and has contributed to local projects for reforestation, water conservation, alternative agriculture and energy technologies that save fragile habitat.

People-centred conservation: Without the support and co-operation of local people, the tiger has no chance of survival. Recognising that their economic and social concerns must be addressed, GTP has worked closely with the Ranthambhore Foundation (a pioneering people-centred conservation project) around the Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan and in Karnataka, south India (youth education projects); with the Institute of Climbers and Nature Lovers working in and around the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve; with Tarun Bharat Sangh, working with villages in and around Sariska National Park and also the Prakratik Society.

Research and data collection: To save the tiger, it is crucial to know numbers, where they live and how much they move in search of new territory and different mates (to maintain a healthy population). This calls for new tracking and monitoring systems and expert scientists to gather as much information as possible. GTP is supporting an on-going scientific research programme (see Annual Reports 2001 – 2004).

21st Century Tiger: GTP is a founding partner in 21st Century Tiger, a wild tiger conservation alliance with the Zoological Society of London. Initially 21st Century Tiger concentrated its funds on projects in India, Sumatra and the Russian Far East but has expanded to include a project in Malaysia and one in Cambodia. At its launch in February 1997 the British Government announced a grant to this newly formed partnership. Since then, the Government has continued to fund tiger conservation through 21st Century Tiger. Projects funded by 21st Century Tiger are marked with an asterisk (below)

NGOs: GTP provides support to Indian NGOs (Non-Government Organisations) that share its objectives

www.21stcenturytiger.org / www.globaltigerpatrol.org

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Cat of the month

Borneo Bay Cat (Pardofelis Badia)

One of the world’s least-known and most endangered wild cats, the bay cat, has been photographed by Panthera grantees Jedediah Brodie (Universiti Malaysia Sabah/ University of British Columbia) and Anthony Giordano (S.P.E.C.I.E.S/Texas Tech University). Their photograph is the first record of this very elusive cat in the Borneo highlands, at 1460 meters (approximately 4,800 feet).

The records add to our very limited knowledge of the species, which was photographed alive for the first time only in 1998 and where most previous records are from dense lowland forest under 800 meters (approximately 2,600 feet).

Borneo’s bay cat is so elusive that it took over a century before researchers got a chance to study a live one in detail. Covered in striking, rust-red fur with white under the tail and face stripes, this cat was officially named in 1874 on the basis of a skull and torn skin sent to England by the famous naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace. Naturalists didn’t have a chance to study a live one until a bay cat was captured in 1992, and the cat remains so difficult to find that researchers know very little about how this secretive cat actually lives. The fact that the cat is so difficult to find is all the more frustrating because conservationists list the felid as endangered. The deforestation of Borneo may wipe out the bay cat before scientists get a chance to find out more about it.

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