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New Delhi, July 28, 2020
Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar today said India was now playing a leadership role in tiger conservation and would share best practices with other tiger range countries.
Releasing the detailed report of the Tiger Census on the eve of Global Tiger Day, the Minister said, “The tiger is an incredible part of nature and the increased number of the big cats in India reflects equilibrium in nature.”
Despite several constraints such as less landmass at 2.4 %, India accounts for 7-8 % of the world's recorded species. "The country has a culture of saving and preserving nature, trees and its wildlife. It was praiseworthy that India has 70% of the world’s tiger population. The country is tirelessly working with all 13 tiger range countries towards nurturing the tiger," he added.
Javadekar announced that his Ministry is working on a programme in which efforts would be made to provide water and fodder to animals in the forest itself to deal with the challenge of human-animal conflict which is causing animal deaths.
For this purpose, LIDAR-based survey technology will be used for the first time. It is a method for measuring distances by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflection with a sensor.
Highlighting the keystone nature of the tiger, a poster on the presence of small cats was also released by the Environment Minister. With the presence of nearly 30% of tigers outside the reserves, India had embarked upon assessing management interventions through the globally developed Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS) framework, which will now be extended to all 50 tiger reserves across the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State of Environment Babul Supriyo said, the human-animal conflict could be avoided but not ruled out entirely. The frontline officials have done commendable work in raising the number of tigers in the country.
The detailed report of the 4th All India Tiger Estimation is unique in many ways, the Environment Ministry said in a press release. For instance, the Abundance index of co-predators and other species was carried out which hitherto was restricted only to occupancy. The sex ratio of tigers in all camera trap sites was been carried out for the first time.
Anthropogenic effects on tiger population have been elaborated in a detailed manner. Tiger abundance within pockets in tiger reserves has been demonstrated for the first time.
The Heads of the Governments of Tiger Range countries at St. Petersburg, Russia, had resolved to double tiger numbers across their global range by 2022 by signing the St. Petersburg declaration on tiger conservation. During the meeting, it was also decided to celebrate July 29 as Global Tiger Day across the world to generate awareness on tiger conservation.
During Global Tiger Day 2019, it was a proud moment for the country as the Prime Minister declared to the world fulfilment of India’s resolve as it had doubled its tiger numbers four years in advance to the target year highlighting resolute action taken by all concerned. India’s tiger population now stands at 2967 which is 70% of the global tiger population. A feather in India’s cap was added with the Guinness World Records recognizing the country’s efforts as the world largest camera trap survey of wildlife.
The detailed report released today assesses the status of tigers in terms of spatial occupancy and density of individual populations across India. In addition to the summary report released by the Prime Minister on the "Status of Tigers in India" in July 2019, this detailed report compares information obtained from the earlier three surveys (2006, 2010, and 2014) with data obtained from the 2018-19 survey. It estimates the population trends using country and landscape scales, patch colonization and extinction rates along with information on likely factors responsible for changes in tiger status at the fine spatial resolution of 100 km.
The report evaluates the status of habitat corridors connecting major tiger populations and highlights vulnerable areas that require conservation attention for each landscape. It provides information on major carnivores and ungulates regarding their distribution and relative abundance.