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Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology, Prelims

Why in news?

  • The Union Environment Minister released the detailed report of Tiger Census on the eve of Global Tiger Day.
  • India has 30,000 elephants 3,000 one-horned rhinos, around 3,000 Tigers and more than 500 lions with a large amount of flora and fauna (8% of the world`s biodiversity) which makes it one of the soft powers of our country.

India’s Tiger Census of 2018: Highlights

  • India’s Tiger Census of 2018 has made it to the Guinness Book of World Records, for being the world’s largest wildlife survey that has been captured via camera.
    As per the survey, the country was home to an estimated 2967 tigers, which accounted to nearly 75 per cent of the global population.
  • India has 50 tiger reserves and none of them are poor quality.

Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of Tigers, with Karnataka following closely behind. (MP overtook Karnataka this time).

  • No tigers were recorded in Mizoram’s Dampa and West Bengal’s Buxa tiger reserves while they face the severe threat of local extinction in Jharkhand’s Palamau reserve.
  • Corbett Tiger Reserve, which is among reserves at or nearing capacity, had the largest population of tigers—about 231—in 2018.
  • One in every three tigers in India lives outside reserves – according to the report, highlighting the challenge of protecting India’s national animal and reducing instances of man-animal conflict.
  • The largest contiguous tiger population in the world—about 724—was found in the Western Ghats (Nagarhole-Bandipur-Wayanad-MudumalaiSatyamangalam-BRT block).
  • Corbett, Kaziranga, Nagarhole, Ranthambore are among tiger reserves at or nearing capacity.

Tiger Census in India

  • Every 4 years the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) conducts a tiger census across India.
  • The first was conducted in 2006, followed by 2010 and in 2014.
  • The Census (2014) had reported 2,226 tigers in the country, up from 1,706 in 2010.
  • The fourth tiger census (All India Tiger Estimation 2018-19) estimated to be released in May 2019.
  • This 2018 tiger census uses a mobile app named “MSTrIPES” for the very first time to store information of the counting.
  • One of the Primary focus of the tiger census 2018 is to cover the northeast India that was not included in the previous census.
  • For the very first time three neighbouring countries Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh are helping in counting the number of tigers all across India, especially in the region with mutual borders.

Global Tiger Day

  • Global Tiger Day, often called International Tiger Day, is an annual celebration to raise awareness for tiger conservation, held annually on 29 July.
  • It was created in 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit.
  • The goal of the day is to promote a global system for protecting the natural habitats of tigers and to raise public awareness and support for tiger conservation issues.

Project Tiger

  • Project Tiger is a tiger conservation programme launched in April 1973 by the Government of India.
  • The project aims at ensuring a viable population of Bengal tigers in their natural habitats, protecting them from extinction, and preserving areas of biological importance as a natural heritage forever represented as close as possible the diversity of ecosystems across the distribution of tigers in the country.
  • The project’s task force visualized these tiger reserves as breeding nuclei, from which surplus animals would migrate to adjacent forests. Funds and commitment were mastered to support the intensive program of habitat protection and rehabilitation under the project.
  • The government has set up a Tiger Protection Force to combat poachers and funded relocation of villagers to minimize human-tiger conflicts.

Project Tiger’s main aims are to:

  • Reduce factors that lead to the depletion of tiger habitats and to mitigate them by suitable management. The damages done to the habitat shall be rectified so to facilitate the recovery of the ecosystem to the maximum possible extent.
  • Ensure a viable tiger population for economic, scientific, cultural, aesthetic and ecological values.

Project Tiger Reserves of India

The Project Tiger Reserves of India is administered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority.

Project Tiger ReservesLocated State
Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam KawalAndhra Pradesh
Namdapha Pakhui/PakkeArunachal Pradesh
Kaziranga Manas NameriAssam
Valmiki NagarBihar
Achanakmar Indravati Udanti and SitanadiChhattisgarh
Bandipur Bhadra Dandeli-Anshi Nagarhole B.R HillsKarnataka
Parambikulam PeriyarKerala
Bandhavgarh Kanha Panna Pench Sanjay Dubri SatpuraMadhya Pradesh
Melghat Pench ShahyadriTabola-AndhariMaharashtra
Satkosia SimplipalOrissa
Mukunda Hills Sariska RanthamboreRajasthan
Annamalai Kalakad-Mundathurai Mudumalai SathyamangalamTamil Nadu
Katerniaghat Extension DudhwaUttar Pradesh
Buxa SunderbanWest Bengal
February 2024