• Follow Wild Chronicles to Periyar Nature Preserve, where the Indian government has found an innovative solution to a national problem.

    Rather than prosecuting the poachers who once illegally stripped bark from sandalwood trees, the forestry department is hiring these men as park guides. In addition to providing them a better quality of life, these men now have a personal stake in protecting the preserve that they once exploited.

    1. Abdul Bashir, the tourism officer, says former poachers make excellent nature guides. Why?

      Bashir says the former poachers are familiar with the area, are not afraid of wild animals, and "tourists . . . will be safe in their hands because their jungle skills are so good."

    2. Do the men and women of Periyar make more money as guides or poachers?

      Poachers make more money, but not being criminals improves the residents' quality of life.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    conservation Noun

    management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect.

    Encyclopedic Entry: conservation
    exploit Verb

    to use or take advantage of for profit.

    forestry Noun

    management, cultivation, and harvesting of trees and other vegetation in forests.

    government Noun

    system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

    innovative Adjective

    new, advanced, or original.

    national park Noun

    geographic area protected by the national government of a country.

    poacher Noun

    person who hunts or fishes illegally.

    prosecute Verb

    to accuse and carry out legal action against a person or organization.

    tree Noun

    type of large plant with a thick trunk and branches.