Tiger numbers, once thought to be in terminal decline, rebound robustly
Madhya Pradesh registered a substantial increase in their tiger population with an estimate of 526 tigers compared to 308 in 2014. It was followed by Karnataka (524) and Uttarakhand (442).
Indian tigers, the poster animal for India’s forests and wildlife, saw a 33 per cent increase in their numbers in the last four years.
The Tiger Estimation Report 2018 released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of International Tigers Day found the number of tigers in India to be 2,967. In 2014, this figure was estimated at 2,226.
This rise in the population of the Asian big cat is the highest ever recorded between four-year cycles, which stood at 21 per cent between 2006 and 2010 and 30 per cent between 2010 and 2014.
Madhya Pradesh reported the highest number of tigers at 526, closely followed by Karnataka with 524 with Uttarakhand at number 3 with 442 tigers. The number of tigers in Chhattisgarh and Mizoram saw a decline while it remained constant in Odisha.
The 2018 census though has been the most technologically intensive wildlife enumeration ever undertaken by the Wildlife Institute of India in Dehradun.
Data was collected over nearly 15 months involving a survey of 381,400 sq km of forested habitats, 522,996 km on foot by State Forest officials, and laying of 317,958 habitat plots, involving a human investment of 5,93,882 man days.
Besides that, camera traps were placed in 26,760 locations, which gave a total of 35 million images of wildlife including 76,523 images of tigers.
A total of 83 per cent of the tiger population was captured via cameras, whereas 17 per cent of the tiger population was estimated using robust, spatially explicit capture-recapture statistical models.
Estimation of Tigers was a mammoth exercise :— PIB India (@PIB_India) July 29, 2019
1. Survey of 3.8 lakh sqaure Km
2. Authorities on foot traversed 5.2 square km
3. 26 K camera traps
3. 3.5 lakh images were taken out of which 76 K captured Tigers
Union Minister @PrakashJavdekar
India accounts for most of the 3,500-odd tigers scattered among Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russian Federation, Thailand, and Vietnam.
In 2010, the governments of the world’s 13 tiger range countries including India gathered and created the Global Tiger Recovery Plan, outlining how each country could double the number of tigers in the country.
India is almost close to achieving that target -- in 2010, the population of tigers were estimated to be at 1,706.