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50 Years of Project Tiger: India May Send Some Big Cats to Cambodia


Because the Center is thinking about moving a few big cats to Cambodia, where the species has gone extinct in the last ten years, in the 50th year of “Project Tiger” in India.


GS Paper-3: Conservation, Environmental Pollution, and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment

Mains Question

Describe the steps the Indian government has taken to protect tigers in that nation. Analyze Project Tiger’s accomplishments and the effect they had on the preservation of tigers in India. (250 Words)

Tiger extinction in Cambodia:

  • Since the last one was captured on camera in 2007, there have been no more tigers in Cambodia.
  • In 2017, the Cambodian Prime Minister announced the country’s plan to reintroduce the big cat, which led to the signing of a memorandum of understanding with India in November 2022. Tigers are thought to have vanished from the Cambodian landscape due to excessive poaching and habitat loss.

Factors to Take into Account:

  • Tiger translocation to Cambodia is being discussed, and a team from Cambodia has already travelled to India for talks.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) protocol will be followed in the decision-making process, and numerous factors will be taken into account.
  • Before deciding whether to move forward with the translocation, India is being cautious and taking into account a number of factors, including making sure that the causes of the Cambodian tiger’s disappearance have been addressed and that the country has the facilities and infrastructure required to support the tiger.

Benefits of the Translocation:

  • Conservation of the Tiger Species:
    • Translocating tigers to Cambodia would help to preserve the tiger species, which has disappeared in that country.
    • It will also help to preserve the ecological balance and rebuild the nation’s tiger population.
  • International Cooperation:
    • Translocating tigers from India to Cambodia would demonstrate India’s commitment to global conservation cooperation and help build bridges between the two nations.
  • Technical Assistance:
    • India would offer technical assistance and knowledge to Cambodia, which would help with the country’s efforts to reintroduce tigers while fostering greater international cooperation.
  • Habitat expansion:
    • The relocation of tigers from India to Cambodia would increase the size of the big cats’ habitat, enabling better chances for reproduction, genetic diversity, and conservation.
  • Learning Opportunities:
    • Conservationists, researchers, and wildlife enthusiasts would all benefit from the translocation of tigers.
    • It would also give a forum for information exchange and raise public consciousness about tiger conservation.

The Project Tiger

  • One of India’s most effective conservation initiatives for the carnivorous mammal that has been endangered globally is Project Tiger.The project, which spans nine tiger reserves over 18,278 square kilometres, was started in 1973.
  • There are currently 53 tiger reserves spread across more than 75,000 square kilometres (or roughly 2.4% of India’s total land area).

St. Petersburg Declaration

  • The 13 countries that make up the tiger range signed the St. Petersburg Declaration on tiger conservation at the 2010 International Tiger Conservation Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia. The declaration calls for doubling the number of wild tigers worldwide by 2022.
  • The 13 countries that make up the tiger range are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam. The declaration aims to secure long-term funding for tiger conservation efforts as well as to promote a coordinated, all-encompassing approach to tiger conservation across the 13 TRCs.

Achievements and Milestones:

  • Project Tiger will celebrate its 50th anniversary on April 1st, 2023.
  • The project has succeeded in doubling India’s wild tiger population in a period of about 12 years, well ahead of the St. Petersburg Declaration’s target year of 2022, making it one of the world’s most successful carnivore conservation initiatives.

International Conference to Honor Project Tiger’s Fifty Years

  • The ministry announced a three-day international summit to celebrate Project Tiger’s 50th anniversary. The Prime Minister will inaugurate the summit in Mysuru, Karnataka.
  • All state environment ministers and officials, as well as representatives of international non-profits dedicated to wildlife protection and conservation, will attend the event.The much-anticipated 2022 tiger estimation (census) data, which represents the country’s fifth cycle assessment of the tiger population, will be made public at the summit.
  • The ministry will also present the Amrit Kal ka Vision for Tiger conservation, the Management Effective Evaluation (2022) of Tiger Reserves, and the release of a Rs. 50 commemorative coin on Project Tiger in addition to the most recent estimates for the number of tigers.

Other Tiger Conservation Efforts

  • With 17 accredited Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS) tiger reserves, India has the most in the world, and more are in the process of being established or added to the existing list.
  • Compensation for voluntary village relocation has increased from Rs 10 lakh per family to Rs 15 lakh in order to support tiger conservation.


The relocation of tigers to Cambodia may give India the chance to expand its conservation efforts outside of its borders and help reintroduce the species to a nation where it has gone extinct.

February 2024