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The Editorial Analysis-What Numbers Don’t Reveal About Tiger Conservation?

What Numbers Don’t Reveal About Tiger Conservation? -Relevance for UPSC Exam

General Studies III- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

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International Tiger Day is celebrated every year on 29th July to raise awareness about the conservation of tigers, which have been declared an endangered species in many parts of the world.

The Editorial Analysis-What Numbers Don't Reveal About Tiger Conservation?_40.1


  • Scientific Name: Panthera Tigris
  • Indian Sub Species: Panthera Tigris Tigris.
  • Habitat: Siberian temperate forests, subtropical and tropical forests on the Indian subcontinent and Sumatra.
  • It is largest cat species
  • It is a member of the genus Panthera.

Protection Status

    • Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I
    • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List: Endangered.
    • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): Appendix I.


  • Poaching and illegal trade: For traditional Chinese medicines, tigers face the problem of poaching as there is a demand for every part of the body of the tiger. In illegal wildlife trades, they keep high prices.
  • Habitat loss: Nowadays and with the increasing population forest are becoming less in numbers. Clearing of forests for several reasons like agriculture, industries, etc. made a loss of around 93% of the natural habitats of tigers.
  • Climate Change: With the rise of sea level due to climate change led to wiping out of Sundarbans one of the habitats of Royal Bengal Tigers.
  • Several diseases are also the key factor. Several animals die and there is no way to ascertain the cause of their death. Certain diseases spread epidemic like Feline Panleucopania, tuberculosis, etc.
  • Lack of protection infrastructure.
  • Increasing tourism day by day is also one of the factors for the decline in tiger numbers.

History of Conservation

  • International Tiger Day was introduced in 2010
  • A number of countries signed an agreement at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia as the Tigers were on the verge of extinction.

Significance of International Tiger Day

  • The day seeks to protect and expand tiger habitats apart from preserving these species.
  • International organizations such as the World-Wide Fund for Nature, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and the Smithsonian Institution also observes the International Tiger Day.


Importance of Tiger Conservation

  • Being at the apex of the food chain as a top predator, Tiger plays important role in health and diversity of an ecosystem.
  • Helps in maintaining the balance between the animals and the vegetation on which they feed.
  • It thus symbolizes the Conservation of Forest and maintenance of ecological balance.
  • A healthy ecological balance will keep the natural resources in balance and thus various lifeforms will be able to survive efficiently are known to provide ecological services like clean air, water, pollination, temperature regulation etc.
  • Conservation of tigers leads to the conservation of the entire ecosystem. For example: According to the Status of Leopards, Co-predators and Megaherbivores-2018’ report
  • The overall leopard population in the tiger range landscape of India in 2018 was estimated at 12,852 which is a significant increase from the 2014 figure that was 7,910 in forested habitats of 18 tiger bearing states of the country.

Tiger Conservation in India

  • Project Tiger– Launched in 1973, it is Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC)
  • Tiger Task ForceStatutory body of the Ministry,with an supervisory/coordination role and functions as provided in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Establishment of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA): It was established in 2005 based on recommendations of the Tiger Task Force.
    • Legal Status:National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
    • Parent Legislation: National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) was established as per enabling provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 by amending it in 2006.
  • M-STrIPES Initiative: M-STrIPES (Monitoring System for Tigers – Intensive Protection and Ecological Status) is an NTCA initiative that provides a mobile monitoring system for forest guards. It enables field managers to assist intensity and spatial coverage of patrols in a geographic information system (GIS) domain
  • ‘T X 2’ initiative of the Petersburg Tiger Summit: India achieved the target of doubling the tiger population (‘T X 2’ Slogan) four years ahead of schedule (2022) of the St. Petersburg Declaration on tiger conservation
  • Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS)
  • Launched in 2013.
  • A set of criteriato check the tiger sites if their management will lead to successful tiger conservation.
  • CA|TSis an official initiative by the global coalition of Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) and has been developed by tiger and protected area experts.
  • There are currently 13 tiger range countries –India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.
    • The Global Tiger Forum (GTF),an international NGO working on tiger conservation, and World Wildlife Fund India are the two implementing partners of the National Tiger Conservation Authority for CATS assessment in India.

List of Tiger Reserves in India

Also Read

Tiger Deaths, Tiger Conservation status and Protection Measures in India

Sunderban Tiger Reserve: Tigers Reaching Carrying Capacity




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