Pop conservation

Pop conservation is here (hopefully not to stay)… Don’t believe me? Read on:

We are gonna have Gangetic dolphins in the Delhi zoo. Come again? Freshwater dolphins in the zoo. Jairam Ramesh believes that a romp in the dolphinarium will do the creature good. Awareness, spreading the message regarding conservation and such other lofty motives will be met. My question is: Where are you going to get the dolphin(s) from? The only way is to capture them from the wild, and that is really not a good idea (nor is getting a ‘rescued’ individual-there will be a rush to ‘rescue’ dolphins to impress the Hon’ble minister. For another, they are gonna die. No, i am not the Voice of Doom, but keeping fresh water dolphins in captivity is not an easy preposition. Experience has shown that they don’t survive long. Just as an aside, don’t most of our zoos house the lion? And the leopard, and other such endangered creatures? May I know how that has helped their cause? Isn’t their fortune in the doldrums?

The other great showbiz idea is to get the cheetah to India. You know the fastest animal on earth that once thrived in India, till we finished it off. The last three were shot (in one go) in 1947. The cheetah is now extinct in India. But hey, chill. Not for long. We are gonna fly ‘em in (we been shopping in Namibia) and give ‘em some grassland (where, where?) to live in. For details on this one, read my earlier post. Suffice to say, its a no brainer, a grand money-making, headline-hogging idea. It’s a conservation dud, but is surely gonna attract dollar tourists in the safari that we create for the cheetah.
Tigers and lions? Never mind ‘em, once they go the cheetah way, we will just bah ‘em from Texas, plenty of ‘em there—more than all over the world in fact. So don’t worry, be happy.

There was this other fantastic plan of getting microlights to protect tiger reserves. An idea straight out of Africa, not a bad one, but not for Corbett and Namdapha—the chosen ones for the grand experiment. Minister, minister, these are moist deciduous forests and rainforests, not savannas that can be surveyed aerialy. The canopy is not transparent. And wouldn’t it be wiser (though certainly not sexier) to first equip our foot soldier. Invest in them—ensure they are in adequate numbers, and well-equipped and trained to guard our tigers?

Oh yes, there is this other brilliant idea-though not so much conservation as a gimmick. Did you know that India is going to kick of International Tiger Year on February 14. Valentine’s Day. Gettit? Cho chweet. The launch is at Corbett National Park (don’t roll in your grave, Jim, it’s ok). Keep the date. and don’t forget to bring the red roses.

7 Responses to “Pop conservation

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  • “Good writing.I like your writing because you always write which you want and in the interest of the wildlife.Most people think about the world and then take suitable position.This many times may not be the best for wildlife.Keep writing such stories whether the politicians/bureucrats like it or not!” Kishor Rithe

  • The good news is-i hear from very reliable sources-that the dolphins in the zoo won’t happen.
    As far as the cheetah, it will only come if there is sufficient suitable habitat with a long term conservation perspective

  • good one, posting it on my blog..

  • Real wild ideas!!! The Gangetic Dolphin is now our National Aquatic Animal, and we plan to captivate them in Delhi Zoo, it will never be successful. The Gangetic dolphin needs running water and live prey, not the dead fishes which make bottlenose dolphins perform before the spectators.

  • Good compilation of thoughts Prerna… Its nice to be open for the new ideas in conservation but at what cost….. We can’t simply allow such fancy ideas as someone in the power felt like doing it. There should be provision whereby in case of failure of any experiment the personality / ties should be made accountable & made to pay the price… Not joking… If NTCA while signing the Tri-Prty Pact with State FD & FD of TRs can have this clause why cant we ask for it??? Its a high time that all such projects be presented first to a committee of eminent people from different fields…

  • Brilliant take on ‘mockeries’ being planned by the ‘conservationists’…credit them all for the mess Indian wildlife finds itself in…one would have thought the animals had had enough but there are always more hair-brained ideas and schemes being planned. May God save the world!