The Number of Tigers in India is Growing!
There are over 50 tiger reserves in India, which are governed by the Project Tiger. National Tiger Conservation Authority (NCTA) administers these project tigers. India is home to the 80% tigers of the world. There are 71, 027. 1 KM reserves of the declared reserves, which are operated by the state forestry departments of India.
India Has an Active Role In Growth of Population of Tigers.
India maintains the population of the tigers due to its aesthetic, cultural, economic, scientific, and ecological values. These areas are important for biological as tigers are the national heritage of India. Tigers are truly enjoyment, education, and benefit for the people.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India had said that India is now estimated to be the home to most of the tigers of the world now. He boasted that the population of the Indian tigers had increased significantly. Thus, he concluded that India would be a secure and safe home for the tigers of the world.
Census of Indian Tigers
India plays a big role in the increasing population of the tigers worldwide as well as at the national level. According to the World Wildlife Fund, India has helped in increasing the number of tigers from 3,159 tigers in 2010 to 3,890 in 2016. India is maintaining viable populations of the conservation dependent Bengal Tigers in India.
The census of the Indian tigers is conducted once every four years in India. Census is one of the hardest and arduous tasks that is carried out by the scientists and forest officials. The census involves the trekking of the half a million square kilometers for searching evidence of the tiger population.
Prime Minister of India, while answering a question to a media person, had commented that the results of the tiger census make every India happier and joyous. Mr. Modi boasts these numbers because these are major conservation success.
According to one estimate, between 1825 and 1975, 80,000 tigers were killed on the soil of India. This is a huge loss not only to Indian national heritage but for the status of India as a safe and secure habitat for tigers. Sports hunting and bounty thrived in India. During these times, kings and the governmental officials killed thousands of tigers. By the 1960s, the population of India tigers had dwindled considerably.
With consistent and concrete efforts, India has won back its safe-haven status for tigers. Indian tiger census shows that the population of tigers in India had increased significantly.
Government Efforts For Conservation of the Tigers
The government of India had taken a number of initiatives that were aimed at streamlining the conservation of tigers. Government efforts and initiatives for the conservation of tigers are explained below:
Why Did Population of Tigers in India Dwindle?
During the British Raj, tiger hunting was considered a royal sport. The royal big game had initiated by the Mughal Emperor Muhammad Jalal-ud-Din. He liked to hunt big tigers. He also arranged hunting games wit other royals. The big game tradition passed onto other Mughal rulers, which was abandoned when the Mughal Empire fell in 1857. These elite safaris killed large numbers of tigers in India.
Then, British officials also enjoyed hunting the tigers. British officers were the real plunderers of the wildlife in India. In the 18th Century, Europeans came to India equipped with new Technology. With this technology, they plundered Indian Wild Big Cats. The new technology consisted of guns and the new explosives. When hunting became a prestigious sport during British Raj in India, the real decline in the numbers of tigers began. In 1900, it is estimated that there were 100,000 tigers in India. Today, 3,890 is an alarming number.
British officials were not only hunting the tigers, but local maharajas had hosted the British patrons. Local kings arranged shikars (hunting parties) and killed hundreds of tigers.
Ban on Tiger Hunting:
The main reason behind the decrease in the number of tigers was due to hunting and poaching. Both hunting and poaching are banned by the Indian government. National Tiger Conservation Authority is the main organ body that is taking concrete steps for the protection and conservation of tigers and other wildlife species in India.
Legal Steps: Conservation of Tigers
There are many legal steps that the government of India took in order to conserve the population of tigers in India.
- Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 was amended to enable provisions for the constitution of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NCTA).
- The punishment was enhanced for the criminals who hunted down the tigers or trespassed the tiger reserves.
- Comprehensive guidelines were added in section 380 1 ( c ) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. This section included rules and regulations for tourism and project tiger.
Administrative Steps: Conservation of Tigers
- Multidisciplinary Tiger and other endangered species crime control bureau were created for eliminating illegal trave of wildlife species.
- Anti-poaching squads had been deployed for the prevention of poaching activities in the tiger reserves.
- Six new tiger reserves had been created for increasing the safety and protection of the tigers. Many more tiger reserves are also being created.
- A scientific methodology had been mainstreamed and evolved for estimating the tigers.
- There are regional offices of NCTA at Bengaluru, Guwahati, and Nagpur. These regional offices are headed by the Inspector General of Forests.
- Financial support is given to the centrally-sponsored schemes such as Project Tiger and Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats. The financial support increases the capacity of state governments for providing effective and efficient protection to wild animals.
International Cooperation: Conservation of Tigers
- India is cooperating with a number of countries in order to increase the safety and protection of tigers such as Nepal, Bangladesh, Russia, etc.
- India is also party to all international agreements, which are aimed at increasing the safety and protection of the tigers.
Due to concerted, collective, and concrete efforts by the Indian government, India had been able to record rapid population growth in tigers.