A tribe on the remote Andaman islands in the Indian Ocean could be heading for extinction due to illegal encroachment by poachers and tourists, a campaign group said Monday.
Survival International, which lobbies on behalf of tribal groups worldwide, said that the Jarawa tribe could soon die out like the nearby Bo. The last member of the Bo died in January 2010.
The Jarawa tribe numbers just 365 people, and fiercely resisted contact with outsiders until 1998.
"Poachers steal the animals the Jarawa need to survive and, like the tourists, risk introducing diseases to which the tribe have no immunity," Survival International said.
The Andaman islands are part of Indian territory, and are protected under special laws that are meant to minimise contact between outsiders and local tribes.
The Jarawa, thought to have been among the first people to migrate successfully from Africa to Asia, live a nomadic existence in the forests.
The lush, tropical Andaman islands boast white sand beaches and are fast developing as a tourist destination.
In June, Survival International accused eight Indian travel companies of running "human safari tours" so tourists could photograph the Jarawa.