An estimated Rs 650 crore (about $100,000 US dollars) turnover is netted by five Tiger Reserves in India through fees charged on entry of visitors, safari vehicles, camera, guides etc. Five times more (Rs 3,250 crores or about $490,000 US dollars) is the likely turnover of the tourism sector being provided to visitors at these reserves.

The fee is deposited with the Government as annual revenue. It is not considered as determining factor while budget is finalized for a reserve.

The five Reserves are: Ranthambhore, Bandhavgarh, Tadoba, Pench and Kanha, where Tiger sightings are the best.

What does the Tiger get? Nothing. Likewise, the forest employees receive nothing, the Reserve gets nothing, and stake holders in surrounding villages also get nothing – out of the tourism revenue. Its major part goes to hoteliers.

Of late the forest department has taken over tourism management in tiger Reserves. Priority appears to have been shifted from conservation work to tourism.

Research on Tiger related aspects is carried out by outside agencies who find it hard to receive permissions to carry out the same. Maximum research has been executed by the Wildlife Institute of India, an autonomous body of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

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