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  • 29 July, 2022

  • 11 Min Read



  • Every year on 29TH July International Tiger Day is celebrated.
  • The first International Tiger Day was celebrated in the year 2010 after it was found that 97% of all the wild tigers had disappeared in the last century, with about only 3,000 of them remaining.
  • Aim: the aim is to halt the numbers from worsening as well as the preservation of these species, the day also aims to protect and expand their habitats.

Conservation status of tiger

  • Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972- Schedule I
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List- Endangered.
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)-Appendix I

Significance of tiger

Over 70% of the tiger population globally is present in India and tiger conservation is a symbol of the conservation of forests. India has 52 tiger reserves covering 75,000sq.km.

  • The tiger is a unique animal that plays a pivotal role in the health and diversity of an ecosystem as it is the top predator in the ecosystem and is vital in regulating and perpetuating the ecological processes.
  • By preying on herbivores, tigers help to keep the balance between the prey animals and the forest vegetation.
  • Tigers are the keystone species protecting the tiger’s habitat and landscape means protecting other big cats, and thousands of other species.
  • In India, tigers inhabit a wide variety of habitats ranging from the high mountains, mangroves swamps, and tall grasslands, to dry and moist deciduous forests, as well as evergreen forest systems, protecting them implies protecting a diverse ecosystem.
  • The significance of Tiger conservation can be reflected by the “Status of Leopards, Co-predators and Megaherbivores-2018” report as it highlighted that there has been an increase in the overall leopard population in the tiger range landscape of India.

The factors for their extinction:

  • Increasing Poaching activity and the illegal trade industry is a very serious threat that wild tigers face as there has been a high demand for the tiger bone, skin, and other body parts also leading to increased cases of poaching and trafficking.
  • The tigers are increasingly coming into conflict with humans with climate change due to lack of food, and water and often enter human habitation.
  • the loss of habitat is also one of the major factors for the tiger extinction.
  • The lack of genetic diversity among tigers can lead to inbreeding in small populations and make them susceptible to diseases.

Conservation effort

  • Project Tiger 1973: It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC)which was launched in the year in 1973. It provides conservation of tigers in the country’s national parks.
  • National Tiger Conservation Authority(NTCA): It is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, which was constituted under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It was established in 2005 following the recommendations of the Tiger Task Force.
  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority has launched the MSTrIPES (Monitoring System for Tigers – Intensive Protection and Ecological Status), a mobile monitoring system for forest guards and local authorities to count the number of tigers in their respected location.
  • Lidar-based survey technology: It is being used for the first time to deal with the issue of human-animal conflict that was causing the death of animals.
  • St. Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation: This resolution was adopted in 2010, by the leaders of 13 tiger range countries (TRCs) assembled at an International Tiger Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is also called the Global Tiger Recovery Program whose overarching goal was to double the number of wild tigers from about 3,200 to more than 7,000 by 2022.

13 Tiger range countries include Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

International Collaboration

  • India has signed a protocol on the conservation of tigers with China and a MOU with Bangladesh on the conservation of the Sundarbans ecosystem to protect the Royal Bengal Tiger.
  • Also, the Cabinet has permitted to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Myanmar to combat timber trafficking and conservation of tigers and other wildlife.
  • Besides bilateral engagements are being carried out with Bhutan, Nepal, and Cambodia.
  • The Government of Guatemala has solicited collaboration with the Govt. of India to safeguard their Jaguar population.

2022: Year of The Tiger: The WWF aims to double the number of wild tigers in 2022.

India must remain committed to ensuring safe habitats for its tigers and the Special attention is needed for the populations that are becoming isolated and facing the genetic consequences of such isolation.

Source: The Hindu

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