India is now home to nearly 3,000 tigers, a third more than it had four years ago, according to the latest tiger census but to be exactly the number is 2,967.
India is now estimated to be home to around 70% of the world’s tigers. It has now become one of the biggest and most secure habitats for the tiger.
India counts its tigers once every four years – it’s a long, arduous task that involves forest officials and scientists trekking across half a million square kilometres (193,000 sq miles) looking for evidence of the tiger population.
By one estimate, between 1875 and 1925 alone, some 80,000 tigers were killed in India.
Bounty and sports hunting were rampant – kings and officials killed tigers in their thousands, using guns, spears, nets, traps, and poison. By the 1960s the number of tigers had dwindled precipitously.
But several government initiatives to streamline tiger conservation – including a ban on hunting and awareness drives in villages -are said to be behind the increase in the population.
A strict wildlife protection law implemented in 1972 made it virtually illegal to kill or capture wild animals even when “problem animals” were involved in severe conflict situations.
Under pressure from global conservationists, India also upped investments to hire more forest guards and improve the protection of reserves.
The results began to show in 2006, and since then there has been a healthy uptick in tiger numbers.
According to one estimate, big cats breed and live in only about 10% of India’s total potential tiger habitat of 300,000 sq km (115,830 sq miles).
Animal density in many of these forest areas is high, and surplus tigers sometimes venture outside for food, bringing them into conflict with people who live nearby.
Conservationists say conflict with humans is largely restricted to the edges of protected areas, forests, and plantations – and that unless India expands tiger reserves, such conflicts will increase.
The latest count happened in 2019 and was announced by Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The population is a third more than the 2014 census.
Madhya Pradesh saw the highest number of tigers, closely followed by Karnataka and Uttarakhand.
The survey, the fourth such since 2006, is a gargantuan exercise and conducted once in four years.
The latest survey is the culmination of 15 months of forest officials surveying 381,400 square kilometres of forested habitat, installing 26,760 camera traps and wildlife biologists ferreting through 35 million images of wildlife — 76,523 of which were tigers.
The government also commissioned a study to gauge the economic value of tiger reserves.
Based on an analysis of 10 of them, the government claimed that the cumulative benefits from the carbon and timber conserved, livelihood to those who depend on forest and tourism were anywhere from 4,200 crores to 16,000 crores annually.
Since 2006, the Wildlife Institute of India an Environment Ministry funded body has been tasked with coordinating the exercise.
That year, it emerged that India had only 1,411 tigers. This rose to 1,706 in 2010 and 2,226 in 2014 on the back of improved conservation measures and new estimation methods.
India accounts for many of the 3,500-odd tigers that are scattered among Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russian Federation, Thailand, and Vietnam.
In 2010, these countries agreed to put in efforts to double the tiger population — in sum — by 2022.
The latest tiger census is very encouraging, and points to the successful strategies, methods and techniques being adopted and pursued by wildlife authorities and wildlife conservationists to protect the Royal Bengal Tiger.
Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of tigers at 526. It was followed closely by Karnataka, which recorded 524 tigers. Uttarakhand came third, but not far behind, with 442 tigers.
The states which saw a decline in the tiger population are Chhattisgarh and Mizoram.
Other states recorded a positive increase, according to the census.
In Madhya Pradesh, Pench Tiger Reserve was home to the largest number of tigers, while Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu showed the highest improvement since 2014, according to the census.
The Prime Minister of India- Narendra Modi, appeared extremely delighted and enthusiastic regarded the positive and encouraging results of the tiger census.
He said, “The results of the just declared tiger census would make every Indian, every nature lover happy.
The story which started from ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ and reached to ‘Tiger Zinda hai’, shouldn’t end there.
Nine long years ago, it was decided in St. Petersburg that the target of doubling the tiger population would be 2022. We, in India, completed this target four years early.”
He also stressed the need for striking a healthy balance between development and the environment. Addressing this issue, he went on to say, “There is a very old debate – development or environment.
Both sides present views as if each is mutually exclusive. In our policies, in our economics, we have to change the conversation about conservation.
I am confident that India will prosper both economically and environmentally. India will build more roads and India will have cleaner rivers.
India will have better train connectivity and also greater tree coverage.”
On the occasion of International Tiger’s Day, PM Modi also released a report titled, “Management Effectiveness & Evaluation of Tiger reserves”.
Along with this, he also released a trailer for the movie, “Counting Tigers”. In this movie, the procedure of counting tigers in India is explained in a detailed manner.
Jim Corbett national park is the oldest national park in Asia.
Also, it is an ideal home for many majestic animals like the Royal Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Elephant, and an extraordinary variety of many other wild animals and reptiles.
Over the past years, as seen across the country that there has been an increase in the population of the tigers, Jim Corbett National Park is not left behind in this case.
Its tiger count has gone up from 160 to 240 + over the past few years which makes Uttarakhand the country’s second-highest ratio of tigers to the area.
The Corbett tiger reserve boasts of being the home to around 240+ tigers, a high density of big cats in comparison to other tiger reserves in the country.
So to be specific, two zones are considered best for Jeep Safari, Dhikala, and Bijrani. Both the zones have 90% chances of spotting Tigers. You can also spot some in the Dhela zone.
Being the most famous parks in Asia. Jim Corbett National Park was the first Tiger Reserve under the project in India.
Forest Department officials said the tiger count had increased in the reserves because of the heightened security measures they had taken up.
Jim Corbett National Park is an important figure when it comes to tigers in the country no doubt it has the highest number of tigers in the country.
But this latest census was based on the technique followed during the counting at the Jim Corbett National Park.
Yes, officials in the reserve forests across the country adopted a technique that Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) first implemented, and with positive results too, to monitor the stripped cats.
And it turned out to be a positive sign as there was an increase of 30% in the number of tigers in the country.
No doubt there is an increase in the number of tigers in the country but there is still a lot to do if India has to sustain this progress.
With the increase in the number of tigers, there should be an increase in the number of tiger reserves in the country.
If this is not done there will be a lot of cases of tiger and human conflicts and this could turn dangerous.
Also, this increase could have been more as there were cases of tiger killings in different parts of the country which means the forest officials are not up to the mark.
Enhancing and improving the system of forest officials can result in the numbers popping up significantly.
These fierce striped cats are the pride of the country and they should be protected and kept safe from illegal hunting.
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