Poaching is one of the most debated environmental hazard in the world currently. The number of poachers has been increasing rapidly in each country over the last few decades. The increase in the number of poachers has sequentially led to a proportional increase in the number of poaching activities (Niraj et al., 2012, p. 15). The poaching activities are noticed in the rate of declining wild organisms. Almost all types of wild animals are at risk of extinction as a result of massive poaching activities. However, some animals are highly targeted by the poachers than others. These include elephants, rhinos, tigers, buffalos, gorillas, and many others (Allgor, 2011, p. 3). The above-listed animals attract the most attention from the public and government agencies. The reason for the increased poaching activities in the world can be attributed to the value of the animals’ products. The rhinos are poached mainly due to their horns that are highly costly. Similarly, the elephants are targeted due to their tusks that tend to be very expensive. The elephant tusks and rhino horns are processed and then used to manufacture expensive products sold to people of high class in the world.
Other animals such as tiger are hunted for various reasons. The major reasons for increased illegal tiger trade are their skin, bones, claws and teeth. These products from the tiger are mainly valued in Traditional Asian Medicine, in the manufacture of expensive products, as well as various fold remedy (Sharma et al., 2014, p. 19). Therefore, there is high demand for tiger products in Asia as compared to other parts of the world. The wildlife trade network has established that for the previous two years, the laws has confiscated numerous tiger parts that were believed to come from at least 200 tigers. More, reports show that more than one thousand tigers have been killed over the last one decade to satisfy the client demand in Asia.
Research shows that the users of tiger products possess certain beliefs over the power and luck of the tiger parts, especially in China. The tiger claws, bones, teeth and whiskers are ascribed to certain protective powers and ability to bring fortunate to the users.
Studies show that ago there were approximately 100, 000 tigers roaming freely in the Asian swamps, forest and tundra (Johnsingh and Madhusudan, 2009, p. 31). However, it is shocking to realize that currently there are less than three thousand tigers roaming the wilderness. Moreover, studies show that only seven percent of the most famous historic tiger environs still possess tigers currently. Consequently, it is evident that the number of tigers is declining at an alarming rate. If measures to reverse the situation are not reversed the immediately, the tigers will become extinct soon.
Several legal consequences of poaching crimes have been implemented, but the rate of poaching remains unabated. It is important to note that the intense tiger poaching activities take place in most parts of Asia, and therefore, India is not an exception. India has suffered a great loss of in the number of tigers in the country due to increased poaching and illegal logging activities (Kenney et al., 2009, p. 24). As a result, the agency responsible for regulating tiger population India implemented regular patrols in the environments containing tigers in an attempt to curb the increasing killing of tigers and the unnecessary tree felling. The patrol program costs several million dollars annually. In the usage of such an expensive program, it is critical to establish its effectiveness in curbing tiger poaching. This research proposal highlights a study that will be performed to evaluate the efficacy of the million dollar patrol program in reducing tiger killing in India. The study will answer the following research questions.
Does the patrol program reduce the number of tigers killed in India per year?
Does the patrol program reduce the incidents of confiscated tiger products by the law in India per year?
What is the effect of patrol program on the number of tiger poachers arrested in India annually?
What is the impact of patrol program on the rate of illegal logging in India annually?
The study will endeavor to provide satisfactory answers to the questions listed above in an attempt to prove the effectiveness of the patrol program around tiger habitats in India. In other words, the study questions clarify the objectives of the study. The success of the study will be assessed by the manner in which the above-sated questions will be answered. The importance of scientific research project is the fact that it does not only answer the questions, but it also provides reliable and validated evidence to its claims. The objectives of a study or rather the questions are specific, measurable, real and attainable. The objectives are also time-bound as it will be explained in the study design. The research proposal will focus on answering the above questions and draw reliable conclusions from the findings. Eventually, the study will find the level of effectiveness of the million dollar project on restricting illegal poaching and end logging.
There is a relationship between poaching and tree felling on the lives of tigers in India. Poaching activities tend to kill the animals directly while illegal logging tends to predispose tigers to harsh environments. Logging affects the habitat of the tigers by making the surroundings unsafe, open and unconducive for survival. Furthermore, the open environment created by the destruction of then habitat tend to predispose the tigers to the ruthless acts of a poacher. Therefore, the study will also focus on the level and degree of illegal logging after the introduction of the patrol program. The question regarding the number of poachers will be answered by recording the number of poachers arrested by the agency over a period of one year.
The study will be performed by a quantitative prospective research design. It will be prospective in the sense that the occurrence of events will be followed in the future to assess the level of influence of patrol program over poaching practices. The study will be conducted for at least three years after the date of commencement. Initially, the study will commence by recording the current status of the tiger and illegal logging in India. Moreover, the study must have access to the data and statistics collected over the previous years. In such an approach of utilizing previous data, the study will also portray some features of retrospective strategy. The study will progress to observe the occurrences of events such as tiger killings, illegal logging and incidents of confiscated tiger parts during the smuggling process.
Types of Data to Collect
The design of the study mandates the use of both primary and secondary data.
Secondary data means the use of data collected by another person, agency or authorities or organization. The source of the secondary data must be reliable, validated and credible. The secondary sources to use in the study include internet datasets, books, and articles written by other authors on the same or similar topic (Downie and Starry, 2013, p. 36). Various books indicating the trend of poaching activities and illegal logging trend in India can be accessed in various public or private libraries. Moreover, digital copies can also be obtained from the internet. It is worth noting that some organizations concerned with wildlife conservation in India have launched websites where they store information for public access. Therefore, the study will visit these websites to record the trend over the last few years as well as over the next three years.
Primary data is the most reliable type used in most studies. Primary data refers to the information collected by the researcher or author directly during the project. To be precise, it is referred as first-hand data or information. The study to determine the impact of patrol program on the poaching activities, a specialist in data collection will be used to record or tally all the number of tiger killings in India per year. Additionally, they will count the number of incidents where tiger parts will be confiscated in India over the next three years. Moreover, the number of poachers arrested and illegal logging per year will be recorded. The primary and secondary data will be analyzed to determine the significance of the study.
Analysis of the Data
The raw data collected from secondary and primary sources carries no significant meaning until they are statistically analyzed. The statistical analysis will be crucial as it informs the researcher whether the occurrences were as a result of chance or can be attributed to the patrol program. The data collected will be analyzed inform of description, where the changes in the occurrence of events will be expressed in percentages and compared over a period of years before and after the introduction patrol program.
The most critical analysis involves the use of inferential statistics (Downie and Starry, 2013, p. 41). Inferential statistics will assess the strength of the relationship between the patrol program and the reduction of poaching activities. At this juncture, it is important to note that the patrol program is the independent variable while poaching and illegal logging are the dependent variables. The patrol program can be evaluated in terms of number of patrols done per day, or a number of vehicles used to carry out the patrol. The inferential statistics include calculation of p-value or the T-test. Tables of contingency and Chi-square and Pearson correlation are also important features of inferential statistics. However, the type of inferential statistic to apply differ from study to another. The study proposed herein will apply Pearson correlation and either t-test or p-value statistics. The analysis will be done using one of the current statistical software such as SPSS, Stata, and SAS.
How to draw Conclusions from the Research
The findings of the research will be critical in determining the effect of expensive patrol program on the level of poaching in India. The analysis of the results will indicate whether the reduction in tiger killing and logging after the introduction of patrol program is significant or insignificant. The significant of poaching reduction will be compared to the expenses of sustaining the patrols. The comparison will dictate whether it is rational to continue with the patrol program. During the decision making, it will be prudent to consider other factors other than the monetary value of the program. Benefits of the patrol include protection of the wildlife as well as environmental conservation. Moreover, depending on the results of the study, a different study may be proposed to investigate areas that may have indicated some form of biases. The presence of confounding factors and external variables that may be realized during the study can suggest further studies to be initiated. If the results indicate a significant reduction in the tiger poaching trend and illegal logging, the million dollar patrols can be confidently declared effective.