India sets up tiger protection force

Conservationists say it is unlikely the dwindling population will ever recover, but the Indian government has announced a US$12.5 million grant to raise, arm and deploy a tiger-protecting force, Reuters reported on Friday.

"The tiger is under grave threat," finance minister Palaniappan Chidambaram was quoted as saying. "The number 1,411 should ring the
alarm bell. That is the number of tigers in India."

Conservationists say recruits for the force should come from tribesmen and forest communities, the report said, to help wean them away from poachers and use their expertise.

See full story