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“Status of Tigers in India - 2018”

  • Categories
    Reports
  • Published
    15th Aug, 2019

UPSC Exam is all about proper strategy, dedication and consistent endeavor in the right direction with authentic and reliable study material. Government and renowned international reports form a very important source for grasping the conceptual clarity of contemporary national and international issues/topics. However, it is a daunting task to comprehend a report that runs through hundreds of pages. It becomes difficult for the students in time crunch situations particularly during UPSC Mains Examinations.

In order to ease the burden over aspirants, GSSCORE has come up with a series of summary of important national and international reports in a crisp and comprehensive manner. Underlining the importance of reports and indexes for PT and Mains, GSSCORE provides a comprehensive summary of important reports of national and international repute. The summary of the report by GSSCORE would save the time and energy of the UPSC aspirants and enable them to quickly cover the syllabus.

  • The following summary of the report titled “Status of Tigers in India - 2018” by Prime Minister is in one among the series of summaries created by GSSCORE on various reports.
  • The report gives us a brief idea on Current status of tigers and their numbers, also gives us brief idea about their habitat, their counting methods and its criticism.
  • It gives an overview on Wildlife infrastructure as a whole and the provision of protection of Tigers.
  • The report underscores the recent developments in achieving these goals.
  • Tiger Report is important topic both for UPSC Preliminary as well as Mains. So going through the GSSCORE summary of the report becomes imperative for UPSC aspirants.

Context

Prime Minister released the All India Tiger Estimation Report 2018

  • India has 2,967 tigers, a third more than in 2014, according to results of a tiger census
  • This gargantuan exercise is been conducted once in four years.
  • The year-long tiger estimation process carried out in 2018-19 and compiled by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) did not register any presence of the striped big cat in Buxa Tiger Reserve (TR) in West Bengal, Palamu TR in Jharkhand and Dampa TR in Mizoram.
  • For the 2018 estimation process, an area of 3, 81,400 square kilometers (sq km) of forest was surveyed. In 2014, the estimation process involved surveying an area of 3, 78,118 sq km of forests.
  • Tigers colonized 25,709 sq km new areas; their presence could not be ascertained in some areas, the report noted. Overall, areas occupied by tigers shrunk by 17,881 sq km (2014-18).
  • The decline was spread over three out of India's five tiger landscapes: The Shivalik, Western Ghats and the North East reported a loss of 469 sq km, 527 sq km and 6,589 sq km respectively; Central India and the Sundarbans landscapes registered an increase of 7,532 sq km and 479 sq km respectively.
  • The overall tiger occupancy of 88,985 sq km was almost the same as the 88,558 sq km in 2014.
  • Madhya Pradesh saw the highest number of tigers, closely followed by Karnataka and Uttarakhand.
  • Chhattisgarh and Mizoram saw a decline in tiger population and all other States saw a “positive” increase.
  • This gargantuan exercise is been conducted once in four years.
  • Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of tigers; Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu registered the “maximum improvement.
  • India accounts for many of the 3,500-odd tigers that are scattered among Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russian Federation, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • Pug Mark Method: In this method, the foot print of the tiger is important. It is considered that each pug mark is unique in itself & by analyzing various foot prints in the areas of tigers, the number of tigers in that area can be counted.
  • Camera Trap: In this various method, cameras are installed in the tiger areas having night vision facility as well. By recording various tigers in the camera, the number of tigers can be estimated.
  • Poop/scat Method: In this method the number of tigers is counted by poop/scat. The poop is analyzed by DNA sampling and then we can arrive at a more accurate count.
  • Radio Collar Method: Tigers are captured in this method & are fitted with a radio collar. In this way the tigers can be counted.
  • The Camera Trap estimation of tiger numbers in source populations, in tiger reserves was poorly done which was a violation of capture-recapture modeling.
  • The estimated of prey species densities from line transects were poorly done which is against the current practices.
  • The complicated, ‘double-sampling’ based regression model is somewhat flawed and obsolete approach.
  • Their statistical methodology of relying on calibrations and regressions based on track and dung surveys to generate wider estimate tiger numbers in wider landscapes was also deeply flawed.
  • Based on Enumerators Subjective Ability to Identify Individual Tigers from Pugmarks.
  • Variation in Pugmarks with substratum, gait, and observers recording skills
  • Not possible to obtain Pugmarks from all Tiger Occupied Landscapes.
  • Camera trap method becomes useless in areas having salty waters. It damages the camera.
  • Not always that someone will get the poop of all the tigers in an area.
  • In Radio Collar Method the method fails when the concerned tiger enters the salty water.
  • Project Tiger is a tiger conservation programme launched in April 1973 by the Government of India during Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's tenure.
  • The project aims at ensuring a viable population of Bengal tigers in their natural habitats, protecting them from extinction, and preserving areas of biological importance as a natural heritage forever represented as close as possible the diversity of ecosystems across the distribution of tigers in the country.
  • The project's task force visualized these tiger reserves as breeding nuclei, from which surplus animals would migrate to adjacent forests.
  • Funds and commitment were mastered to support the intensive program of habitat protection and rehabilitation under the project.
  • The government has set up a Tiger Protection Force to combat poachers and funded relocation of villagers to minimize human-tiger conflicts.
  • Project Tiger was launched in Jim Corbett National Park of Uttarakhand in 1973 by National Tiger Conservation Authorities (NTCA)
  • Stepped up protection/networking surveillance.
  • Voluntary relocation of people from core/critical tiger habitat to provide inviolate space for tiger.
  • Use of information technology in wildlife crime prevention.
  • Addressing human wildlife conflicts.
  • Capacity building of frontier personnel.
  • Developing a national respiratory of camera trap tiger photographs with IDs.
  • Strengthening the regional offices of the NTCA.
  • Declaring and consolidating new tiger reserves.
  • Foresting awareness for eliciting new tiger reserves.
  • Foresting Research
  • Protect tigers and their habitat.
  • Build capacity in range states.
  • Reduce human-tiger conflict.
  • Conduct scientific research on tigers to help inform conservation strategies.
  • Promote tiger-friendly policies.
  • Monitor tiger numbers, population trends, and threats to tigers and their habitats.
  • To build more tiger reserves in India.
  •  To enforce complete ban on poaching.

Question:

Recent tiger census shows increase in the number of tigers but the methodology has always faced criticism. Examine. Also, suggest measures to improve tiger conservation efforts in the country.

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