Context: The Union Environment Ministry has released the detailed report of Tiger Census on the eve of Global Tiger Day to be celebrated on July 29th.
About India’s tigers population
- Despite several constraints such as less land mass, India has eight percent of biodiversity because a culture of saving and preserving nature, trees and its wildlife is practiced in India.
- Tiger is an incredible part of nature and the increased number of the big cats in India reflects equilibrium in nature.
- Tigers and other wildlife are a kind of soft power India has to show on the international front.
Highlights of the 4th All India Tiger Estimation:
- The detailed report assesses the status of tigers in terms of spatial occupancy and density of individual populations across India.
- The report evaluates the status of habitat corridors connecting major tiger populations and highlights vulnerable areas that require conservation attention for each landscape.
- The report provides information on major carnivores and ungulates regarding their distribution and relative abundance.
- With the tiger population estimated at 2,967, India may slowly be approaching its peak carrying capacity of tigers.
- Protection for tigers:
- The detailed survey reveals that nearly a third of India’s tigers are living outside tiger reserves and nearly 17 of the 50 reserves are approaching the peak of their capacity at sustaining their populations.
- India has 70 percent of the world's tiger population and India is tirelessly working with all 13 tiger range countries towards nurturing the tiger.
- Many firsts: How 4th All India Tiger Estimation is unique?
- Abundance index of co-predators and other species has been carried out which hitherto was restricted only to occupancy
- Sex ratio of tigers in all camera trap sites has been carried out for the first time.
- Anthropogenic effects on tiger populations have been elaborated in a detailed manner.
- Tiger abundance within pockets in tiger reserves has been demonstrated for the first time.
Initiatives at the national-international level for tiger conservation:
- A programme to provide water and fodder to animals in the forest itself: The Union Environment Ministry has launched the programme to deal with the challenge of human-animal conflict which is causing deaths of animals.
- For this LIDAR based survey technology will be used for the first time. Lidar is a method for measuring distances by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflection with a sensor.
- Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS) framework: India had embarked upon assessing management interventions through this globally developed framework, which will now be extended to all fifty tiger reserves across the country.
- Resolve to double tiger population: The Heads of the Governments of Tiger Range countries had resolved to double tiger numbers across their global range by 2022 by signing the St. Petersburg declaration(2010) on tiger conservation.
- During the said meeting it was also decided to celebrate July 29 as Global Tiger Day across the world to spread and generate awareness on tiger conservation.
India’s achievement: During Global Tiger Day 2019, India had declared to the world that it had doubled its tiger numbers four years in advance. The Guinness World Records has also recognized the country’s efforts as the world largest camera trap survey of wildlife.
Tiger Census Report
- The Tiger Census Report is a four-year report.
- The census is carried out by Wildlife Institute of India and NTCA.
Wildlife Institute of India (WII)
- Established in 1982 in Dehradun.
- Autonomous institution under the MoEFCC.
- Offers training programs, academic courses and advisory in wildlife research and management.
- Census methodology
- Double sampling based on ground-based surveys and actual images captured on camera-traps. Double sampling method was introduced in 2006 after the “pugmark” surveys were found to be inaccurate.
- In the 2018 census (4th estimate), 83% of the big cats censused were individually photographed using camera traps.
Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS)
- Officially launched in 2013, CA|TS is an important part of Tx2, the global goal to double wild tiger numbers by the year 2022.
- CA|TS is a management tool which sets basic criteria such as the minimum standards for effective management of tiger conservation reserves.
- The CA|TS team has been working closely with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
St Petersburg Declaration
- In November 2010, the first “Tiger Summit” in St Petersburg, Russia, endorsed a Global Tiger Recovery Programme.
- The programme aimed at reversing the rapid decline of tigers, and doubling their numbers by 2022.
- India was one of the 13 tiger range countries that participated in the gathering.
Tiger Range Countries
- The Tiger Range Countries (TRC) are the countries where tigers still roam free i.e. in the wild.
- The 13 tiger range countries are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.