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28th January 2023 (4 Topics)

Tiger Count and efforts to conserve them

Context

The Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati has mentioned in the Supreme Court answering a plea against the government’s efforts to conserve Wildlife that the Tiger population has increased by 6% since the last census.

About Tiger count in India:

  • India had about 2,967 tigers in its wildlife as per the last count in 2018, which shows their population was growing at an annual rate of 6 per cent.
  • Every 4 years the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) conducts a tiger census across
  • The first was conducted in 2006, followed by 2010 and in
  • The Census (2014) reported 2,226 tigers in the country, up from 1,706 in 2010.
India’s Tiger habitat:  

Conservation efforts:

PROJECT TIGER:
  • Project Tiger was launched in 1973 for conserving our national animal
  • It is a Centrally sponsored scheme of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and climate change
  • The project is administered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)
NATIONAL TIGER CONSERVATION AUTHORITY:
  • It is a statutory
  • Established in 2005 following the recommendations of the Tiger Task
  • It was Established in 2005, following the recommendations of the Tiger Task
  • It was given statutory status by the 2006 amendment of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 for strengthening tiger conservation, as per powers and functions assigned to it.
  • Functions under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change
TIGER RELOCATION PROJECTS:
  • The tiger relocation project was initiated in 2018 wherein two big cats, a male (Mahavir) from Kanha Tiger Reserve and a female (Sundari) from Bandhavgarh from Madhya Pradesh were relocated to Satkosia Tiger Reserve in Odisha, to shore up the tiger population in the
  • The relocation was meant to serve two purposes:
    • Reducing the tiger population in areas with excess tigers majorly reduces territorial
    • To reintroduce tigers in areas where the population has considerably reduced due to various reasons.
TIGER SPECIAL PROTECTION FORCE:
  • It will be effective in checking illegal human intrusion into the reserve through villages located on its fringes and serve as a second layer of protection for tigers
  • The decision is in line with Central Government’s guidelines for providing three-tier protection to tigers at reserves
  • Three-tier protection for tigers at reserves
  • 1st layer of protection: It is provided in the inner range by beat-level forest guards through regular patrols.

2nd layer of protection: It is provided by STPF.

3rd layer of protection: it comes from intelligence-gathering mechanisms in which forest, police and central intelligence agency personnel work together to prevent crimes like the poaching of tigers.

GLOBAL TIGER FORUM:
  • It is an Inter-Governmental international body working exclusively for the conservation of
  • Established in 1994, the Global Tiger Forum (GTF) has its headquarters in New
  • The General Assembly of GTF meets every three
  • It is a global commitment to double the world's wild tigers by 2022
  • The base year is 2006
  • The goal has been set by the world wildlife Fund (WWF) through the Global Tiger Initiative, Global Tiger Forum, and other critical platforms
  • All 13 tiger range governments came together for the first time at the Petersburg Summit(Russia- 2010) where they committed to double the number of wild tigers by 2022
GLOBAL TIGER INITIATIVE:
  • Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) was launched  in  2008  as  a  global  alliance  of  governments, international organizations, civil society, conservation, and scientific communities, and the private sector, with the aim of working together to save wild tigers from
  • In 2013, the scope was broadened to include Snow
  • The GTI’s founding partners included the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Smithsonian Institution, the Save the Tiger Fund, and International Tiger Coalition (representing more than 40 non-government organizations).
  • The initiative is led by the 13 tiger range countries (TRCs).
INTEGRATED TIGER HABITAT CONSERVATION PROGRAM (ITHCP):
  • ITHCP was launched in 2014. It is a strategic funding mechanism that aims to save tigers in the wild, and their habitats and to support human populations in key locations throughout
  • It has already facilitated 12 projects in six countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Nepal and Myanmar) to better manage Tiger Conservation Landscapes.
  • It is contributing to the Global Tiger Recovery Programme (GTRP), a global effort to double tiger numbers in the wild by 2022.
  1. PETERSBURG DECLARATION:
  • It aimed at promoting a global system to protect the natural habitat of tigers and raise awareness among people on white tiger conservation
  • This resolution was adopted In November 2010, by the leaders of 13 tiger range countries (TRCs) assembled at an International Tiger Forum in Petersburg, Russia
  • The resolution’s implementation mechanism is called the Global Tiger Recovery Program whose overarching goal was to double the number of wild tigers from about 3,200 to more than 7,000 by
  • 13 Tiger range countries are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Challenges:

Although we are moving progressively towards conserving more and more tigers, a few threats are still there standing as a resistance in the conservation practices:

  • Three tiger reserves of India: Mizoram's Dampa reserve, West Bengal's Buxa reserve and Jharkhand's Palamau reserve have no tigers left.
  • The tiger reserves are having poor interconnectivity with each other due to which the gene exchange among the tiger population can barely take
  • There has occurred a human-tiger conflict as the tiger conservation practice has grown but their natural habitats are already shrinking and hence, they are seeking their habitat in human habitation.
  • Poaching of tigers is taken as pride and every part of a tiger has a market value therefore they are being hunted indiscriminately for personal as well as commercial
  • The constrained mentality of the local communities regarding tiger poaching as their only job is a major challenge to tiger conservation.
  • Linear developments such as that railways and roadways are critical issues in creating conservation.

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