GS Paper 3
Syllabus: Environment and Conservation
Context: On the occasion of Global Tiger Day (July 29), a detailed report on the All-India Tiger Estimation 2022 was released.
Highlights of the report:
- According to the Wildlife Institute of India’s (WII) 5th quadrennial tiger census, India’s tiger population increased to 3,682 in 2022.
- The numbers in the report, revised from 3167 earlier, reflect a commendable annual growth rate of 6.1% per annum.
- The largest tiger population of 785 is in MP, followed by Karnataka (563) and Uttarakhand (560), and Maharashtra (444).
- The tiger abundance within the Tiger Reserve is highest in Corbett (260), followed by Bandipur (150), Nagarhole (141), Bandhavgarh (135), Dudhwa (135),
- Central India and the Shivalik Hills and Gangetic Plains witnessed a notable increase in tiger population, while the Western Ghats experienced localised declines, necessitating targeted monitoring and conservation efforts.
- Some states, including Mizoram, Nagaland, Jharkhand, Goa, Chhattisgarh and Arunachal Pradesh, have reported disturbing trends with small tiger populations.
Efforts to conserve the species:
- Global Tiger Day (July 29): It was instituted in 2010 at the Tiger Summit in St Petersburg, Russia when the 13 tiger range countries came together to create Tx2 – the global goal to double the number of wild tigers by the year 2022.
- Project Tiger of India:
- It was launched by the Central government on April 1, 1973, at the Jim Corbett National Park of Uttarakhand to promote the conservation of the tiger.
- It didn’t just focus on the conservation of the big cats but also ensured the preservation of their natural habitat as tigers are at the top of the food chain.
- National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) of India: It was established in 2005, following a recommendation of the Tiger Task Force, to reorganise the management of Project Tiger and India’s many Tiger Reserves in India.
- Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE):
- It was adopted from the framework of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas.
- Since its inception in 2006, MEE has been jointly conducted by the NTCA and the WII and has paved the path for a successful evaluation of national tiger conservation efforts in India.
The success story of India’s conservation efforts:
- Today, there are 54 tiger reserves across India, spanning 75,000 sq km.
- Nearly 75% of the global tiger population (in the wild) can today be found in India.
Challenges for the world and India:
- Overall, the designated year (2022) for achieving the goals of Tx2 saw uneven progress. For example, the countries in Southeast Asia struggled to control population decline.
- For India,
- The tiger population of the country cannot be increased at the same pace because that will result in an increase in conflict with human beings.
- Action on key agendas like carbon capture and climate change, fund flow as well as village relocation has been the weakest performing area for Indian tiger reserves.
- There is a need to strongly continue the eco-friendly development agenda, minimise mining impacts, and rehabilitate mining sites.
- Vital steps to protect the country’s tiger populations include –
- Fortifying protected area management,
- Intensifying anti-poaching measures,
- Employing scientific thinking and technology-driven data collection, and
- Addressing human-wildlife conflict.
Prelims Links: UPSC 2020