International Tiger Day is celebrated on the 29th day of July in India. Following this, a question on CA TS is among the latest current affairs in the IAS Exam. Recently, a virtual meeting was held to celebrate the day when the prime minister focused on India’s commitment to ensuring a safe habitat for the tigers in the country and adopting practices that nurture ecosystems that are tiger-friendly.
Fourteen tiger reserves in India received a formal accreditation of Global conservation assured tiger standards (CAITS) at the meeting, making it an essential inclusion in the UPSC Exam.
What should you know about tiger conservation?
At present, Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 contains details about the conservation status of tigers in the country. As per the International Union for the conservation of Nature, tigers are enlisted in the red list, signifying that they are endangered.
The conservation of tigers is symbolic of the conservation of forests. A tiger represents an animal, the protection of which is critical to ensure that the diversity of the ecosystem remains intact. Even though it is one of the top predators at the top of the food chain, tigers are essential to ensure that the population of wild animals remains in check. They are the tipping factor between the balance between herbivores and the vegetation they feed. In essence, tiger conservation is not something about protecting an animal alone. Conserving tigers implies the conservation of forests, which provide us with several ecological services such as clean air, water, temperature regulation, and more. This vital topic might be asked in UPSC 2022, owing to its importance.
The significance of the conservation of tigers is also highlighted through the report on the Status of Leopards, Megaherbivores, and co-predators. As per the numbers highlighted in the report, the population of leopards stood at 12,852 across the tiger range landscape in 2018. The numbers stand as a significant increase from the figures in 2014, pointing towards a direct correlation between the saving of tigers and the entire ecosystem. Therefore, you must pay attention to these figures and data for IAS Preparation.
Status of Conservation of Tigers in India
At present, there are two ongoing tiger conservation projects in India:
- Project Tiger 1973: The central scheme is sponsored by the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and climate change launched in 1973. It targets the provision of safe havens for tigers across national parks in the country.
- National Tiger Conservation Authority: It is a type of statutory body established in the year 2005 and worked on the recommendations of the Tiger task force.
Owing to the collective efforts towards the conservation of tigers, India is now home to 70% of the tiger population all across the globe. There are over 50 tiger reserves in the country, which are spaced across 18 states in the country, and as per the latest census in 2018, a significant increase in the population of tigers has been noted. India was supposed to double the tiger population by 2022 as per the St. Petersburg declaration for tiger conservation. Still, the same has been achieved well in advance.
This topic is an essential inclusion in UPSC Syllabus, which is why you must note these points. At present, the efforts driving the conservation of tigers are supported by various local communities.
What is CA|TS?
CA| TS is agreed by the global coalition of Tiger Range countries, and as an accreditation tool, it has been developed by protected area experts. India is one out of the 13 tiger range countries. CA|TS lists criteria that allow tiger sites to assess if their management will promote tiger conservation. It was launched in 2013 and was implemented by the Global Tiger Forum, an international forum working towards preserving tigers.
Pillars of CA|TS
The 7 pillars of CA|TS include:
- importance and status
- habitat management
- tiger populations.
The 14 tiger reserves which have been accredited by CA|TS are Manas, Kaziranga, and Orang in Assam, Satpura, Kanha and Panna in Madhya Pradesh, Pench in Maharashtra, Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar, Dudhwa in Uttar Pradesh, Sunderbans in West Bengal, Parambikulam in Kerala, Bandipur Tiger Reserve of Karnataka and Mudumalai and Anamalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu.
Learn, in the linked article, how many tiger reserves are there in India?
To sum up
The first-ever initiative for the conservation of tigers was called project tiger. According to the Tiger Census Report, 2019, the Tiger population has substantially increased from 2,226 in 2014 to around 2,967 in 2019.
If you are preparing for UPSC Prelims, then the topic of CA|TS is among the few prominent current affairs that can be asked in the exam. Therefore, you should prepare for the same thoroughly as it is one of the latest developments.