India’s Top Court Bans Tourism in Tiger Reserves

Posted July 24th, 2012 at 12:35 pm (UTC-5)
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India's Supreme Court has banned tourism in tiger reserves throughout the country, in a bid to protect the endangered animal.

The court Tuesday also announced penalties against six states for failure to comply with an earlier order to create buffer zones around tiger habitats.

Wasim Kadri, a lawyer with the National Tiger Conservation Authority, told reporters, “the court also imposed a fine of 10,000 rupees ($178) because states had not filed affidavit despite the court ordering twice before.”

The Supreme Court responded to a petition filed by Indian conservationist Ajay Dubey claiming that states had allowed commercial development, including hotel construction, near the core area of tiger reserves.

India is home to nearly 50 percent of the world's tiger population, which has declined dramatically from about 100,000 at the end of the 19th century to fewer than 3,500 today.