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India’s Tigers Increasingly Attack Humans for Food

October 22, 2008 07:30 PM
by Rachel Balik
As the effects of global warming diminish their usual prey, India’s tigers are driven to attack villagers for food.

Tiger Attacks Rise as Resources Dwindle

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In the Sundarban islands on the border of India and Bangladesh, rising sea levels are driving tigers from their homes. Two of the islands have already been submerged, and plant life is dying as it is exposed to salt water. The tigers’ natural prey is dwindling and as a result, they are attacking fishermen and villagers in increasing numbers.

The fishermen must pass through tiger territory in order to get to the sea, and locals sometimes come to the forest to forage for honey. "Villagers are not supposed to enter a number of islands earmarked as tiger territories, but they seldom follow the rules, get attacked and claim compensation,” said Pradip Shukla, a senior forest department official, in a New Scientist article.

Related Topic: Other animals affected by climate change

In February, activists began campaigning to get polar bears listed as a “threatened” species. The Alaskan polar bear population is stable, but there is evidence that their hunting grounds are shrinking. Scientists have predicted that by 2050, two-thirds of the polar bear population will be gone, having lost their habitat through global warming.

The Adelie penguins in Antarctica are good indicators of the dangers of climate change, the Chicago Tribune reported in July of 2007. At the time, tens of thousands of birds were dying off due to alterations in the weather. The penguins rely on great sheets of ice to reach their winter feeding grounds, but the ice is melting. Temperatures on the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula have risen 4.5 degrees in the past 50 years, as opposed to temperatures around the globe, which have only increased by 1.4 degrees in the last 100 years.

Animals everywhere experience the effects of a warming Earth. The Washington Post compiled a list of animals that were suffering or altering behavior as of September 2007. The list describes responses different species have, as well as the changes in local ecosystems that are occurring.

Reference: Helping the tigers

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