Presently, apart from India, there are 12 tiger range countries including China, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Bhutan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal, Malaysia, Russia and Myanmar
International Tiger Day 2020: India’s tiger population has doubled in the past 12 years! On the eve of the International Tiger Day, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC) Prakash Javadekar and Union Minister of State of MOEFCC Babul Supriyo on Tuesday released a report on the status of tigers in India. The report compared the status of tigers in India between 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018. According to the findings of the report, the population of the tigers increased by 110% since 2006 and now, India accounts for 70% of the world population, Javadekar was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.
A PTI report quoted Javadekar as saying that India should be proud since despite the scarcity of land and rainfall, India accounted for 8% of the world’s biodiversity, adding that in 1973, the country only had nine tiger reserves and this figure has now increased to 50. He added that none of these reserves are of poor quality.
The report further quoted him as saying that India was ready to become a leader and work with 12 other tiger-range countries to manage their tiger reserves, train them and build their capacity.
Presently, apart from India, there are 12 tiger range countries including China, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Bhutan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal, Malaysia, Russia and Myanmar.
Apart from that, the PTI report quoted Babul Supriyo as saying that the contribution of India towards tiger conservation was acknowledged by the Guiness Book of World Records.
Global Tiger Day: Findings of the report
The report on tiger status detailed Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of tigers in the country with 526 mighty cats, followed by Karnataka with 524 tigers. At the third place was Uttarakhand, having 442 tigers.
Between 2006 and 2018, the total population of tigers rose from 1,411 to 2,96. This figure stood at 1,706 in 2010 and at 2,226 in 2014.
In terms of landscape, the Shivalik-Gangetic Landscape, the number of tigers were 646, a steep increase from 297 in 2006, while in Central India and Easter Ghats, the number of tigers went up from 601 to 1,033 in 12 years. Western Ghats saw the big cats stand at 981 in 2018, a much different picture than the figure of 402 in 2006. North East Hills and Brahmaputra landscape had 100 tigers 12 years ago, and this number is now at 219. In Sundarban, the number of tigers went up from 70 in 2010 to 88 in 2018.
In 2018, the area of forest under tiger occupancy stood at 88,985 sq km, as against 88,558 sq km in 2014. Most of this area was in the Central India landscape, accounting for more than half of the total forest area at 47,717 sq km. This figure has significantly increased from 40,185 sq km in 2014, according to the status report.
For years now, India has been making concentrated efforts to increase the population of its tigers after it reached the worrisome low of 1,411. Problems like hunting and poaching had so rapidly caused a depletion of these mighty cats that the authorities had become worried that if measures were not taken, India’s national animal might disappear. Since then, extensive campaigns have been organised under the aegis of Project Tiger to ensure the survival of the tigers.
So far, it seems like the campaigns are bearing the fruit and while, there is still a long way to go, the figures indicating the slow recovery of the tiger population is a ray of hope for the environmentalists and forest authorities in the country.