Utne Blogs > Environment

Collect Herbs, Not Trophy Tigers

 by Lisa Gulya


Tags: environment, wilderness and wildlife, Siberian tiger, poaching, organic, herbs, In Good Tilth, Wildlife Conservation Society, Russia,

Medicinal herbs stave off a range of ills, including the common cold, joint stiffness, and herpes outbreaks. Soon, they might be able to stave off tiger poaching. The Wildlife Conservation Society Russia Program hopes to reduce Siberian tiger poaching by collecting and selling certified organic herbs, reports In Good Tilth (article not available online), the newspaper of the sustainable agriculture nonprofit Oregon Tilth. Russian villagers will collect Siberian ginseng root, wild rosehips, and Schisandra chinensis berries on organic certified land managed by local hunting clubs. The Wildlife Conservation Society hopes the income generated from selling organic medicinal herbs will reduce the temptation for locals to hunt or allow the hunting of the eight to 10 tigers who roam the area. Only 400 to 500 wild Siberian tigers remain worldwide.

pam_1
6/18/2008 7:13:23 AM

That's a nice thought but I don't think it's going to work. I do applaud their effort of trying to do SOMETHING to solve their problem. I really doubt the income from growing herbs can come anywhere close to the amount they could get from a poached tiger. And for people who have no money at all, I would think they would take a chance on getting a lot of money. I don't think this is enough to curb anyone's temptation to poach. Not everyone is interested in poaching -- those who would have been interested are still going to be interested.