July 29 marks the International Tiger Day. India in recent times has made significant progress as far as tiger population is concerned. Now, one may ask what is a big deal in having tigers in high numbers? How come it is an accomplishment? The simple answer is that the tiger sits at the top of the food chain. The increase in their number essentially indicates the good shape of bio-diversity.
India in a Leadership Role
On this day in 2018, the results of fourth cycle of the All India Tiger Estimation 2018 were declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Now, this has entered the Guinness World Record for being the world’s largest camera trap wildlife survey.
The country now has an estimated 2,967 tigers as per the latest census. With this number, India is home to nearly 75% of the global tiger population and has already fulfilled its resolve of doubling tiger numbers, made at St. Petersburg in 2010, much before the target year of 2022.
Project Tiger was launched in 1973 with just 9 tiger reserves. Today, India has 50 reserves having 2967 tigers.
Tiger sits at the peak of the food chain and the increased numbers is a testimony of the robust bio-diversity. #IndiasTigerSuccess #InternationalTigerDay #TigerDay pic.twitter.com/pmEEsWInee
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) July 29, 2020
The citation at the Guinness World Record website reads- “The fourth iteration of the survey – conducted in 2018-19 – was the most comprehensive to date, in terms of both resource and data amassed. Camera traps (outdoor photographic devices fitted with motion sensors that start recording when an animal passes by) were placed in 26,838 locations across 141 different sites and surveyed an effective area of 121,337 square kilometres (46,848 square miles). In total, the camera traps captured 34,858,623 photographs of wildlife (76,651 of which were tigers and 51,777 were leopards; the remainder were other native fauna). From these photographs, 2,461 individual tigers (excluding cubs) were identified using stripe-pattern-recognition software.”
International Tiger Day – A Background
International Tiger Day or the Global Tiger Day came into existence in 2010, when in 2010 the ‘Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit’ was held in Russia. It witnessed the signing of Saint Petersburg Declaration by 13 tiger range countries. The fact that the wild tiger population has dropped by more than 95% since the beginning of the twentieth century led to that collective resolution.
The thirteen tiger-range countries participated in the Summit were: India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Summit host Russia. The Summit decided on the goal to increase the population of wild tigers to over 6,000 by 2022.
Now, India has established a model with its successful conservation efforts and assumed a leadership position.
You may also like articles from our archive: