India is urbanising rapidly – India’s tiger population is expanding. There is a link between these two facts, this is not a coincidence.
When we use extensive peasant agriculture to make a living then we use lots and lots and lots of land to do so. This means that there’s not much land left over for wildlife:
India’s tiger population has increased by a third in four years, bringing the animal back from the brink of extinction. The census results, a success for government conservation efforts, were unveiled this morning by Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister. They showed that the tiger population rose to 2,967 last year, from 2,226 in 2014.
As we intensify agriculture, that pressure on land use diminishes. We use more fertiliser and less land to gain the same crop for example. We mechanise so that less labour is used out there in the fields. That now unused labour migrates into the cities where it is exploited in the sweatshops by gaining indoor work with no heavy lifting:
According to one estimate, big cats breed and live in only about 10% of India’s total potential tiger habitat of 300,000 sq km (115,830 sq miles).
As we make farming ever more efficient in terms of land use – by industrialising and chemicalising that farming – then we’ll have more room for tigers, won’t we?
India’s tiger population rises to 3,000 despite cities expanding
Yes, well done there to Sky News. The correct headline is:
India’s tiger population rises to 3,000 because cities expanding
Very well done indeed.