Support forest officers: environmentalist to West Bengal



Environmentalist Bittu Sahgal has urged the West Bengal government to "support forest officers" in their task of protecting the Royal Bengal tiger.

He also exhorted wildlife officials, scientists, photographers and students to work together for nature conservation.

"I request the state government to support the forest officers in helping protect the tigers of Sunderbans. The tigers are important for the country and the state," Sahgal said Friday on the sidelines of a discussion on "Ethics of Nature Photography" organised by Sanctuary Asia and Save the Tiger in collaboration with the Society for Heritage and Ecological Researches (SHER) and the wildlife wing of the state.

"The forest officers and wardens need all the help they can get to save the tigers," said Sahgal.

The world's largest mangrove forest Sundarbans - spread over parts of West Bengal and Bangladesh - is home to the elusive Royal Bengal tiger.

Sahgal, founder of Sanctuary Asia magazine, delved into the ethicalities of photographing wildlife and pointed out certain red flags that should be avoided while capturing animals in the wild.

"Photographer's job is to record what is happening, not to trigger an event. Use longer lens and try to be invisible. The quality of your photograph will go up if you don't disturb the subject," said Sahgal.

Voicing concern over digitisation leading to blurring of ethics, Sahgal remarked that while software such as photoshop could be used to enhance the graphics, it shouldn't be used to plant an animal in a picture and other such manipulations.

Moreover, he stressed on having in-depth knowledge about the subject one is clicking.

"One must understand the subject. Understanding the subject should be a religion," added Sahgal. - IANS