India’s high court placed a temporary ban on tourism in five of the country’s tiger reserves in a move that is intended to protect the endangered cats.
The court’s order means that no tourists can enter the parks as of Wednesday.
“Why should tourism be permitted in core areas? Whatever statistics may say, fact remains that the tiger population in the country has practically diminished,” the Supreme Court said, according to the Hindustan Times.
The court will again rule on the decision on August 22 to determine if a permanent ban is necessary.
Environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan said that all chief ministers in India should “strictly follow” the court’s decision.
The move might disrupt tourists’ travel plans to watch tigers far into forests in reserves around the country and might cause a loss of tourism sector jobs.
“The effect we can see is that tigers are virtually on the verge of extinction. You will only have statistics to count upon,” the court said, according to the Times of India.India is home to 1,706 tigers, half the world’s tiger population, according to the World Wildlife Fund.