The status of Tigers in India was released in the 4th cycle of All India Tiger Estimate 2018 on the Global Tiger Day 2019. India recorded a major increase in the number of wildcats in this country.
Why is it in the news?
India has made a new Guinness Record for conducting the world’s largest camera trap wildlife survey. Camera traps were placed in 26,838 locations across 141 different sites and surveyed an effective area of 121,337 square kilometres.
To know the measures taken for Tiger Conservation in India, candidates can visit the linked article.
Further in this article, we shall discuss the Tiger Census Report and its conclusions in detail along with the current status of the animal in India. IAS Exam aspirants must carefully analyse the data given below as questions based on the same may be asked in the civil services exam.
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About Tiger Census Report
- The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in collaboration with the State Forest Departments, Conservation NGOs and coordinated by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), conducts a National assessment for the “Status of Tigers, Co-predators, Prey and their Habitat” every four years since 2006
- In 2018 and 2019, the 4th cycle of Tiger Estimation was conducted in India. Before this, 3 other cycles of assessment have already been held, of which, 2006 report was peer-reviewed by International experts and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
- The main objective of reviewing the status of Tigers in the country every four years was to ensure that the balance between forest and wildlife is not disrupted. If Tigers were to extinguish it would severely affect the forest and cycle of nature
- The All India Tiger Estimation done quadrennially is steered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority with technical backstopping from the Wildlife Institute of India and implemented by State Forest Departments and partners
Also, visit Importance of Tiger Conservation: RSTV
Status of Tigers in India – Findings Based on Census Report 2018
- As of 2019, India’s Tiger population stands at a total of 2967 which is 70 per cent of the global tiger population
- In 2006, the count of Tigers in the country was 1411 and with 2967 Tigers by 2019, India successfully fulfilled its resolve of doubling tiger numbers, made at St. Petersburg in 2010, much before the target year of 2022
- The states with the maximum Tiger population included:
- Madhya Pradesh – 526
- Karnataka – 524
- Uttrakhand – 442
- Maharashtra – 312
- It can also be assumed that India has 75% of the global population of Tigers
- While Tamil Nadu’s Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve registered maximum improvement since the 2014 census, Dampa Reserve in Mizoram and Rajaji Reserve in Uttrakhand had the least Tiger count
- Madhya Pradesh’s Pench Sanctuary and Kerala’s Periyar sanctuary emerged as the best-managed tiger reserves in the country
- Andhra Pradesh, Mizoram and Chattisgarh saw a decline in the number of Tigers since 2014. While the count of other states was either constant or showed a positive trend
- On comparing the data from all four cycles, there has been a constant increase in the count of these striped wildcats after every census. Given below is the total count from all the four Census Reports:
- 2006 -1,411
- 2010 – 1,706
- 2014 – 2,226
- 2018 – 2,967
Government exam aspirants can get the detailed List of National Parks in India at the linked article.
Highlights of Tiger Census Report 2018
- In line with the Digital India Campaign, new technologies and applications were used which made this census tech-savvy. A few of these include:
- For the 4th assessment, mobile applications like M-STrIPES (Monitoring System for Tigers – Intensive Protection and Ecological Status), which uses GPS to geotag photo-evidences, and survey information was used to get the primary field data
- For the automated segregation of camera trap photographs to species using artificial intelligence and neural network models, software like CaTRAT (Camera Trap data Repository and Analysis Tool) was used
- Program ExtractCompare that fingerprints tigers from their stripe patterns were used to count the number of individual tigers (>1 year-old)
- To divide the entire survey into smaller segments, tiger bearing habitats were divided into five major landscapes:
- Shivalik Gangetic plains
- Central India and the Eastern Ghats
- Western Ghats
- North Eastern Hills and Brahmaputra Flood Plains
- The details about the area and wideness of the survey are as follows:
|Area of forests surveyed for tiger signs and prey estimation||381,400 sq km|
|Number of Camera Trap Locations in 141 sites||26,838|
|Area Covered by Camera Traps||121,337 sq km|
|Area of Foot Surveys||522,996 km|
|Habitat plots sampled for vegetation and prey||317,958|
|Total number of wildlife photographs taken (Tigers and Leopards combined)||34,858,623|
Measures Taken for Tiger Conservation
India and other countries have taken various measures for the conservation of Tigers. Given below are a few such measures:
- Project Tiger – This was launched on April 1, 1973, and an important movement aimed at the Wildlife conservation of tiger in India.
- Global Tiger Initiative – It was launched in 2008 as a global alliance of governments, international organizations, civil society, the conservation and scientific communities and the private sector, with the aim of working together to save wild tigers from extinction
- Formation of the Global Tiger Initiative Council (GTIC) with two arms – the Global Tiger Forum (GTF) and the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP)
- More wildlife sanctuaries have been set up across the world to create a safe habitat for the striped wildcat
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