Renowned conservation biologist Raghu Chundawat on Friday said tourists travelling in large numbers to the forests in India is a threat to the wildlife and ecosystem as most of the tourists are “not responsible”.
Speaking on the sidelines of “TOFTigers Sustaining the Wildlife”, Chundawat said: “Mass tourism generates huge amounts of money to governments, but at the same time it also has negative impacts and threat to the wildlife and ecosystem of the forests.”
“Now there is a rapid increase of wildlife-based mass tourism specially on the weekends… This ruins the habitat, as some visitors throw garbage which consist more of plastic.”
Chundawat’s pioneering 10-year research on the Panna tigers was immortalised by BBC in the documentary — “Tigers of the Emerald Forest”.
The conservation biologist said that loss of habitat is another issue that impacts tiger conservation. The big cat’s habitat is now limited to “seven per cent of its original range”, he said.
A report, titled “The Value of Wildlife Tourism around Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan for Wildlife Conservation and Local Communities”, centering India’s poor record with sustainable tourism practices in and around wildlife reserves, was also released on the occasion.