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Biodiversity & Environment

Global Tiger Day

  • 29 Jul 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in News

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has released a detailed ‘Status of Tigers, Co-predators and Prey in India (2018) Report’ on the eve of the Global Tiger Day (29th July).

  • The report compares information obtained from the earlier three tiger surveys (2006, 2010, and 2014) with data obtained from the 2018-19 survey to estimate tiger population trends at country level.

Key Points

  • St. Petersburg declaration:
    • With 2,967 tigers, India, four years in advance, has achieved the target set in the 2010 St Petersburg Declaration of doubling tiger population by 2022. India had around 1,400 tigers in 2006.
    • The Heads of the Governments of Tiger Range countries at St. Petersburg, Russia, had resolved to double tiger numbers across their global range by 2022 by signing the St. Petersburg declaration on tiger conservation.
      • During the same meeting it was also decided to celebrate 29th July as Global Tiger Day across the world, which is since being celebrated to spread and generate awareness on tiger conservation.
    • There are currently 13 tiger range countries - India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • National Scenario:
    • The national tiger status assessment of 2018-19 estimated the overall tiger population in India at 2,967 - 33% increase from 2014 (2,226).
      • The 2018 census (once in every four years) has set a Guinness record for being the largest camera-trap wildlife survey.
    • Tigers were observed to be increasing at a rate of 6% per annum in India from 2006 to 2018.
    • The largest contiguous tiger population in the world of about 724 tigers was found in the Western Ghats (Nagarhole-Bandipur-Wayanad-Mudumalai- Sathyamangalam- Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Temple block).
  • Regional Scenario:
    • Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of tigers at 526, closely followed by Karnataka (524) and Uttarakhand (442).
    • The Northeast has suffered losses in population. Further, the tiger status in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha has steadily declined, which is a matter of concern.
    • Out of 50 tiger reserves in the country, three reserves - Mizoram’s Dampa reserve, Bengal’s Buxa reserve and Jharkhand’s Palamau reserve - have no tigers left.
    • Corbett Tiger Reserve (Uttrakhand) had the largest population of tigers at about 231 in 2018.
      • India’s Project Tiger was launched in 1973 with 9 tiger reserves.
  • Concerns:
    • Most of the populations remain confined to small Protected Areas, some of which have habitat corridors that permit tiger movement between them.
    • However, most of the corridor habitats in India are degrading due to unsustainable human use and developmental projects.
    • Some reserves nearing full capacity is another issue.
  • Solutions:
    • In areas where tigers have not been recorded or the population has declined, restoration needs to be proceeded by improving protection, augmentation of prey, and reintroduction of tigers from an appropriate source.
    • Some reserves like Similipal (Odisha), Pakke (Arunachal Pradesh) are below their potential and require resources and targeted management.
  • Government’s Response:
    • Tigers and other wildlife are a kind of soft power that India has to show on the international front.
    • Despite several constraints such as less land mass, India has 8% of biodiversity because of its culture of saving and preserving nature, trees and its wildlife.
    • India has 70% of the world's tiger population. It is tirelessly working with all 13 tiger range countries towards nurturing the tiger.
    • The Government is working on a programme to provide water and fodder to animals at the forest itself to deal with the challenge of human-animal conflict that is causing the death of animals.
      • For this, Lidar-based survey technology will be used for the first time.
      • Lidar is a method of measuring distance by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflection with a sensor.

Source: PIB

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