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Tiger Census 2018: Guinness Book of World Records

  • 14 Jul 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in News

India’s 2018 Tiger Census has made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for being the world’s largest camera trapping wildlife survey.

  • India has also fulfilled its resolution to double the Tiger numbers made at St. Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010, before the target year of 2022.
  • The tiger numbers in India have increased from around 1500 in 2010 to 2976 in 2020.

Key Points

  • Comprehensive: The fourth cycle of the Tiger Census 2018, conducted in 2018-19 is the most comprehensive in terms of both resource and data recorded.
  • Methods:
    • Camera traps were placed at multiple locations across different sites and surveyed an effective area of 121,337 square kilometres.
      • Camera Traps are outdoor photographic devices fitted with motion sensors that start recording when an animal passes by.
    • It also conducted extensive foot surveys that sampled habitat plots for vegetation and prey dung.
  • Identification: From these photographs 83% of the total tiger population were identified using stripe-pattern-recognition software.
    • The software helps to match a new image of a tiger already in the database, based on the pattern of stripes.

Project Tiger

  • It was launched in 1973 with 9 tiger reserves for conserving our national animal, the tiger.
  • It is an ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
  • Currently, the Project Tiger coverage has increased to 50 Tiger reserves, spread out in 18 tiger range states which amounts to around 2.21% of the geographical area of our country.
  • The tiger reserves are constituted on a core/buffer strategy. The core areas have the legal status of a national park or a sanctuary, whereas the buffer or peripheral areas are a mix of forest and non-forest land, managed as a multiple use area.
  • The NTCA was launched in 2005, following the recommendations of the Tiger Task Force. It is a statutory body of the Ministry, with an overarching supervisory/coordination role, performing functions as provided in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • M-STrIPES (Monitoring System for Tigers - Intensive Protection and Ecological Status) is an app based monitoring system, launched across Indian tiger reserves by the NTCA in 2010.
    • The system would enable field managers to assist intensity and spatial coverage of patrols in a geographic information system (GIS) domain.

Tiger

  • Scientific Name: Panthera tigris
  • Indian Sub Species: Panthera tigris tigris.
  • Habitat: It stretches from Siberian temperate forests to subtropical and tropical forests on the Indian subcontinent and Sumatra.
  • It is the largest cat species and a member of the genus Panthera.
  • Traditionally eight subspecies of tigers have been recognized, out of which three are extinct.
    • Bengal Tigers: Indian Subcontinent
    • Caspian tiger: Turkey through central and west Asia (extinct).
    • Amur tiger: Amur Rivers region of Russia and China, and North Korea
    • Javan tiger: Java, Indonesia (extinct).
    • South China tiger: South central China.
    • Bali tiger: Bali, Indonesia (extinct).
    • Sumatran tiger: Sumatra, Indonesia.
    • Indo-Chinese tiger: Continental south-east Asia.
  • Designated as the National Animal of India, Bengal Tiger is most recognisable for its dark vertical stripes on orange-brown fur with a lighter underside.
  • Importance: Tigers are terminal consumers in the ecological food pyramid, and their conservation results in the conservation of all trophic levels in an ecosystem.
  • Threats: Habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation and poaching.
  • Protection Status:
  • Tiger Reserves in India

Source: PIB

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