Global projects As a result, there have been many success stories in India that defy the conclusions of the new paradox paper. Sukumar said, for example, that the population of the Asiatic lion has increased from only about 20 individuals about a century ago to over 500 today; on the other hand, the new paper says only 175 of these big cats remain in the wild. It’s a similar case with leopards as well as animals in some other continents, such as wolves in Europe.Global projects
Kaul does not believe that toys, advertisements and logos “would have a significant effect on the perception of the general public on the animals’ rarity or otherwise”.Global projects
“We have been arguing about how tiger-centric our conservation efforts have been, to the detriment of lesser known species,” he said. “So because our conservation is charismatic-species-centric, we are acknowledging that these species are in trouble and are investing more on them than others.”Global projects
Charismatic species also in trouble
Sukumar and Kaul also point out the differences between European and Asian perspectives, given that with the exception of the wolf, the remaining nine species considered in the study are found outside Europe. “It would have been far more revealing if the human perceptions study had been carried out in the range countries,” Sukumar said.
He didn’t think the paper’s conclusions could all be disputed. For example, he said the authors have made a case to seriously consider “conservation payments by corporations exploiting the charisma of such creatures for monetary gains”.
A form of this issue was at play with Sudan, the last male northern white rhinocer Mordecai Ogada, an ecologist, has alleged that Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a private reserve in Kenya where Sudan had lived, had been able to raise millions of dollars off of Sudan’s plight as the last male of its kind. However, conservationists have disputed whether the ‘northern’ white rhino is a species or subspecies, and whether Sudan’s death was as significant as it was made out to be.