- Conservation related issues.
International Tiger Day: 29 July
What to study?
For Prelims: International Tiger Day- significance and theme, Tiger population- state- wise, country- wise and other key facts, Important tiger reserves, M- Stripes.
For Mains: Dwindling tiger population- causes, concerns and conservation efforts- both national and international.
Context: Global Tiger Day, often called International Tiger Day, is an annual celebration to raise awareness for tiger conservation, held annually on 29 July.
It was created in 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit.
The goal of the day is to promote a global system for protecting the natural habitats of tigers and to raise public awareness and support for tiger conservation issues.
4th cycle of all India Tiger Estimation:
On the eve Global Tiger Day, a census report of tigers in India-‘The Tiger Estimation Report 2018’- has been released.
- 2967 tigers are present in India.
Highest number of tigers have found in Madhya Pradesh (526), after that Karnataka has 524 and Uttarakhand is accommodating 442 tigers.
- In five years, the number of protected areas increased from 692 to over 860, community reserves from 43 to over 100.
- While the 2014 census pegged the total number of striped big cats in the country at 2,226, the 2010 census put the figure at 1,706 and the 2006 version at 1,411, indicating that tiger numbers have been on the up.
- While Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of tigers, Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu registered the “maximum improvement” since 2014.
- Chhattisgarh and Mizoram saw a decline in their tiger numbers while tiger numbers in Odisha remained constant. All other states witnessed a positive trend.
Tiger protection in India- Concerns and challenges:
- India has one of the lowest per capita forest areas in the world. Depletion of forests is responsible for reduction of tiger habitats.
- Reduced food base:As forestlands fall to development projects, habitable land for animals that make for the tiger’s food base are also reduced.
- Poaching: Another issue that has hindered tiger conservation in India and globally is poaching, which will persist as long as there is an illegal market for tiger body parts.
- Climate change:Rising sea level as a result of climate change is on the verge of wiping out Sundarbans, one of the last remaining habitats of the Bengal tigers.
- The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has launched the M-STrIPES (Monitoring System for Tigers – Intensive Protection and Ecological Status), a mobile monitoring system for forest guards.
- At the Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010, leaders of 13 tiger range countries resolved to do more for the tiger and embarked on efforts to double its number in the wild, with a popular slogan ‘T X 2’.
- The Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) program of the World Bank, using its presence and convening ability, brought global partners together to strengthen the tiger agenda.
- Over the years, the initiative has institutionalised itself as a separate entity in the form of the Global Tiger Initiative Council (GTIC), with its two arms –the Global Tiger Forum and the Global Snow Leopard Ecosystem Protection Program.
- The Project Tiger, launched way back in 1973, has grown to more than 50 reserves amounting to almost 2.2% of the country’s geographical area.
Sources: the Hindu.
Mains Question: The centrality of tiger agenda is an ecological necessity for the sustainability of our environment. In this context, examine the steps taken by India to conserve tigers?