India lifts ban on tiger tourism
India's Supreme Court has lifted its controversial ban on tiger tourism
Tourism in the core areas of 40 tiger reserves in the country's tiger reserves was banned from July following a complaint by environmentalists that several Indian states had permitted the construction of hotels and shops inside the reserves.
There are fewer than 3200 wild tigers left in India, compared to 40000 at the beginning of the 20th century. Tigers were hunted for sport well into the century and continue to be poached today. Wild tigers are under pressure from human encroachment in the form of logging and agriculture and their habitat has declined markedly in the past 100 years.
The ban was criticised by some conservation groups who who argue that the presence of tourists protects tigers from loggers and poachers.