International Tiger Day, also known as Global Tiger Day, is annually observed across the globe on 29th July to create awareness about the decreasing population of Tigers and to highlight the importance of the conservation of Tigers (Panthera tigris).
- 29th July 2022 marks the observance of the 12th International Tiger Day.
- This year’s (2022) theme for International Tiger Day has not been announced yet.
- The theme of 2021 was – “Their survival is in our hands.”
The St. Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation:
On 23rd November 2010, ‘The St. Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation’ was signed during the International Tiger Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia from 21 to 24 November 2010, proclaimed the 29th July of every year as the Global Tiger Day.
- Signatories: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam, the countries housing the remaining tigers in the wild.
- The first-ever Global Tiger Day was observed on 29th July 2011.
- The International Tiger Day is observed by several international organizations including – the World Wide Fund for Nature, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and the Smithsonian Institution.
i.The Government of India (GoI) launched “Project Tiger” on 1st April 1973 to promote the conservation of the tiger.
ii.This is the largest species conservation initiative of its kind in the world.
i.TRAFFIC, a joint conservation programme of WWF, the global conservation organization and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), was established in 1976 by the Species Survival Commission of IUCN.
ii.TRAFFIC’s objective is to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature.
IUCN has recognized two tiger subspecies, commonly referred to as the continental tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) and the Sunda island tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica).
- The continental tigers currently include the Bengal, Malayan, Indochinese and Amur (Siberian) tiger populations, while the Caspian tiger is extinct in the wild and the South China tiger is believed to be functionally extinct.
Threats faced by Tigers:
i,The main threats to tigers are, poaching, retaliatory killings, and habitat loss.
With the growing human population and rapid urbanisation, tigers are forced to compete for space.
ii.They have lost an estimated 95% of their historical range and their habitat has been destroyed, degraded, and fragmented by human activities.
Poaching is one of the most immediate threats to wild tigers.
According to World Wildlife Fund: WWF, the Tiger populations are stable or increasing in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Russia and China. It is estimated that around 3,900 tigers remain in the wild.
Tigers in India:
i.According to National Tiger Conservation Authority(NTCA), as of 2022, the total number of Tiger Reserves in India is 53.India currently hosts the largest tiger population in the world.
ii.According to the All India Tiger Estimation Reports – Status of Tigers, Copredators & Prey in India-2018, the population within Tiger Reserves is 1,923.
iii.Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of tiger (526), followed by Karnataka (524) and Uttarakhand (442).
About National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA):
NTCA has been constituted under section 38 L (1) of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
Chairperson– Bhupender Yadav (Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change)
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi