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Project Tiger In India


The number of tigers in India has increased by 6.74 per cent from 2,967 in 2018 to 3,167 in 2022, according to the figures of the 5th cycle of India’s Tiger Census, which was released by Prime Minister at an event in Karnataka’s Mysuru to mark 50 years of ‘Project Tiger’.


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Tiger Population in India’s Different Regions in 2023
  2. Project Tiger
  3. About the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)

Tiger Population in India’s Different Regions in 2023

Tiger Population Growth:
  • The Shivalik hills and Gangetic flood plains had the highest increase in tiger population.
  • Central India, northeastern hills, Brahmaputra flood plains, and Sundarbans also showed growth in tiger numbers.
Tiger Population Decline:
  • There was a decline in tiger population in the Western Ghats region, although “major populations” were reportedly stable.
Method of Estimating Tiger Population:
  • Tiger numbers were estimated by counting animals caught in camera traps.
  • Statistical techniques were used to estimate tigers that were not captured in camera traps.
Census Results:
  • 3,080 unique tigers were captured in camera traps, compared to 2,603 in the previous census.
  • The census results are still being processed, with state-wise population estimates expected to be completed in three months.
  • The scientists provided a range of estimated tiger populations over four years, with the mean value being highlighted as the latest tiger population.

Project Tiger

  • Project Tiger is a conservation program launched by the Indian government on April 1, 1973, to protect tigers from extinction due to widespread hunting and poaching.
  • The primary objectives of Project Tiger are to promote the conservation of the tiger and its habitat, control the poaching of tigers, and maintain a viable population of tigers in India.
  • The program was started in nine tiger reserves of different states in India, covering over 14,000 sq km.
  • The project also ensured the preservation of the natural habitat of tigers, which is vital for their survival.
Success and Challenges:
  • The program’s success was evident from the rise in the tiger population in India, estimated to be around 3,000 by the 1990s.
  • However, the local extermination of tigers in Rajasthan’s Sariska in 2005 was a significant setback.
  • To overcome the challenge, the Indian government established the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to reconstitute Project Tiger.
Current Status:
  • Today, there are 54 tiger reserves across India, spanning 75,000 sq km.
  • The current tiger population in the country stands at 3,167, showing a steady rise from 1,411 in 2006, 1,706 in 2010, and 2,226 in 2014.
  • The goal of Project Tiger is to have a viable and sustainable tiger population in tiger habitats based on a scientifically calculated carrying capacity.

About the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)

  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) was established in December 2005 following a recommendation of the Tiger Task Force, constituted by the Prime Minister of India for reorganised management of Project Tiger and the many Tiger Reserves in India.
  • The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 was amended in 2006 to provide for constituting the National Tiger Conservation Authority responsible for implementation of the Project Tiger plan to protect endangered tigers.
  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority is set up under the Chairmanship of the Minister for Environment and Forests.
  • The Authority will have eight experts or professionals having qualifications and experience in wildlife conservation and welfare of people including tribals, apart from three Members of Parliament of whom two will be elected by the House of the People and one by the Council of States.
  • The Authority, interalia, would lay down normative standards, guidelines for tiger conservation in the Tiger Reserves, apart from National Parks and Sanctuaries.
  • It would provide information on protection measures including future conservation plan, tiger estimation, disease surveillance, mortality survey, patrolling, report on untoward happenings and such other management aspects as it may deem fit, including future plan for conservation.
  • The Authority would also facilitate and support tiger reserve management in the States through eco-development and people’s participation as per approved management plans, and support similar initiatives in adjoining areas consistent with the Central and state laws.
  • The Tiger Conservation Authority would be required to prepare an Annual Report, which would be laid in the Parliament along with the Audit Report.
  • Every 4 years the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) conducts a tiger census across India.

-Source: The Hindu

March 2024