In News: Revival of the tiger: A joint effort, a cultural renaissance


  • India has had a long and varied history of forest and wildlife conservation. The management of tiger reserves is based on the Tiger Conservation Plan which includes a detailed plan for core and buffer zones. 
  • At Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR), both these zones, together span large swathes of land, 1288.31 to be precise, covering three districts of Uttarakhand.
  •  Just four years ago, CTR recorded 231 tigers. According to the 2022 report, the reserve now records the highest density of wild tigers in the world, with a figure of 260 tigers. This indicates a healthy forest and ecology.
  • CTR has a richly-forested, highly-biodiverse landscape. The variety of birds and wildlife at the reserve, attract bird-specialists, environmentalists, wildlife enthusiasts, researchers, conservation biologists and tourists in large numbers. Many a veteran visitor would vouch for the eco-spiritual experience of the wilderness.
  •  On April 9, 2022, during the celebration of 50 years of the Project Tiger at Mysusru ,  Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi declared the minimum tiger population of 3167, which is the population estimate from the camera-trapped area. Now, further analysis of data, done by the Wildlife Institute of India, from both camera-trapped and non-camera-trapped tiger presence areas, the upper limit of the tiger population is estimated to be 3925 and the average number is 3682 tigers, reflecting a commendable annual growth rate of 6.1% per annum.
  • Central India and the Shivalik Hills and Gangetic Plains witnessed a notable increases in tiger population, particularly in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Maharashtra.
  • However, certain regions, such as the Western Ghats, experienced localized declines, necessitating targeted monitoring and conservation efforts.
  • Some states, including Mizoram, Nagaland, Jharkhand, Goa, Chhattisgarh, and Arunachal Pradesh, have reported disquieting trends with small tiger populations.
  • The largest tiger population of 785 is in Madhya Pradesh, followed by Karnataka (563) & Uttarakhand (560), and Maharashtra (444).
  •  The tiger abundance within the Tiger Reserve is highest in Corbett (260), followed by Bandipur (150), Nagarhole (141), Bandhavgarh (135), Dudhwa (135), Mudumalai(114), Kanha (105), Kaziranga (104), Sundarbans (100), Tadoba (97), Sathyamangalam (85), and Pench-MP (77).
  • Various tiger reserves have shown remarkable growth, while others face challenges. Approximately 35% of the tiger reserves urgently require enhanced protection measures, habitat restoration, ungulate augmentation, and subsequent tiger reintroduction.
  • To preserve ecological integrity, there is need to strongly continue eco-friendly development agenda, minimize mining impacts, and rehabilitate mining sites. Additionally, fortifying protected area management, intensifying anti-poaching measures, employing scientific thinking and technology-driven data collection, and addressing human-wildlife conflict are vital steps to protect the country’s tiger populations.
  • India’s Project Tiger has made tremendous progress in tiger conservation over the past five decades, but challenges like poaching is still a threat to tiger conservation. Continued efforts to protect tiger habitats and corridors are crucial for securing the future of India’s tigers and their ecosystems for generation.

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