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Supreme Court Orders Closure of Mines Near Sariska Tiger Reserve


Recently, the Supreme Court directed the Rajasthan government to close 68 mines operating within a 1-kilometre radius of the critical tiger habitat (CTH) in the Sariska reserve.


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Critical Tiger Habitat (CTH)
  2. Key Facts about Sariska Tiger Reserve
  3. Project Tiger
  4. Organizations or Forums involved in Tiger Conservation:

About Critical Tiger Habitat (CTH)

  • Definition: Also known as core areas of tiger reserves, Critical Tiger Habitats are designated under the Wild Life Protection Act (WLPA), 1972.
  • Purpose: Identified based on scientific evidence, these areas are crucial for tiger conservation and are meant to be kept inviolate. This means they are preserved exclusively for tiger conservation without infringing on the rights of Scheduled Tribes or other forest dwellers.
  • Notification: The designation of CTH is carried out by the state government in consultation with an expert committee constituted for this purpose.

Key Facts about Sariska Tiger Reserve

  • Location: Situated in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, Sariska Tiger Reserve is nestled within the Aravali Hills.
  • Tiger Relocation: Sariska is renowned as the first reserve in the world to successfully relocate tigers.
  • Tourist Attractions: The reserve is famous for its historical and natural sites, including Pandu Pol, Bhangarh Fort, Ajabgarh, Pratapgarh, Siliserh Lake, and Jai Samand Lake.
  • Topography: Sariska features a diverse landscape comprising rocky terrains, scrub thorn arid forests, grassy areas, hilly cliffs, and semi-deciduous woodlands.
  • Vegetation: The vegetation is primarily Northern Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests and Northern Tropical Thorn Forest.
  • Flora: Notable plant species include Dhok trees, salar, kadaya, gol, ber, Banyan, gugal, bamboo, kair, and adusta.
  • Fauna: In addition to tigers, Sariska hosts a variety of wildlife such as leopards, sambhar, chital, and nilgai.

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.

Organizations or Forums involved in Tiger Conservation:

  • Global Tiger Forum(GTF): It is an Inter-Governmental international body working exclusively for the conservation of Tigers. Established in 1994, the Global Tiger Forum (GTF) has its headquarters in New Delhi set up to promote a worldwide campaign to save the tiger, its prey, and its habitat. 
  • The Global Tiger Initiative(GTI):It was launched in 2008 as a global alliance of governments, international organizations, civil society, conservation, and scientific communities, and the private sector, to work together to save wild tigers from extinction. In 2013, the scope was broadened to include Snow Leopards.
  • Wildlife Institute of India (WII): Wildlife Institute of India (WII) offers training programs, academic courses, and advisory in wildlife research and management. It was established in 1982 at Dehradun. It is an autonomous Institution of the Ministry of Environment & Forests.
  • World Wildlife Fund(WWF): It works to conserve and connect tiger habitat, monitors tigers and their prey, and collaborates with governments across the 13 tiger range countries to protect wild tigers.

-Source: The Hindu

June 2024