World Tiger Day was observed on July 29, 2019. It is celebrated to promote the assurance of natural environment of tigers and increase awareness about the preservation of tiger. The day was built up in 2010 at Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia where the signatories declared an agreement that the governments of tiger populated counties would double the tiger population by 2022. This 12-year goal (2010 – 2022) was termed as TX2.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the results of the 4th cycle of All India Tiger Estimation 2018, at Lok Kalyan Marg in New Delhi in the presence of Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javdekar; the Union Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Shri Babul Supriyo; and the Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Shri C.K. Mishra.
- According to the Survey, the count of tigers in India rose to 2967 in 2018. India has achieved its 2022 target of doubling tiger population four years before the deadline.
- The count grew from 1,411 in 2006 to 2,226 in 2014 and to 2,967 in 2018.
- In the last five years, the forest cover of India has grown. There was an increase in the “protected areas.”
- In 2014, there were 692 protected areas, which increased to more than 860 in 2019.
- The “Community Reserves” grew from 43, in 2014, to more than 100.
About the Tiger Census
- The first was conducted in 2006, second in 2010 and third in 2014.
- A team of over 44,000 officials worked on the census (2018) with 55 biologists across the country.
- The census does not include cubs and only adult tigers are counted.
- There was a 33% rise in tiger numbers which is the highest ever recorded between cycles which stood at 21% between 2006 to 2010 and 30% between 2010 and 2014.
- Madhya Pradesh ranked first with the highest number of tigers at 526.
- The second spot was claimed by Karnataka at 524.
- Uttarakhand ranked third with 442 tigers.
- Chhattisgarh and Mizoram saw a decline in their tiger numbers.
- The numbers in Odisha remained constant.
- All other states witnessed a positive trend. Viewed at the landscape level, all 5 landscapes showed an increase with the Central Indian landscape recording the highest increment.
- Telangana: The total tiger count in two reserves in Telangana rose to 26 from 20 five years ago. Telangana has two Tiger Reserves- Amrabad Tiger Reserve in Nagarkurnool and Nalgonda districts and Kawal Tiger Reserve, encompassing Nirmal, Mancherial, Adilabad and KB Asifabad districts. As per the Monitoring Effectiveness Evaluation report 2018, Kawal moved up from ‘Fair’ to ‘Good’ category, while Amrabad Tiger reserve remained in the ‘Good’ category. The overall score was more than 71.09%, which is nearer to the ‘Very Good’ category (75%).
New mobile application M-STrIPES used to estimate tiger population
The wildlife officials used mobile application Monitoring System For Tigers-Intensive Protection and Ecological Status (M-STrIPES) to estimate the tiger population in the country. This was announced by Y V Jhala, Scientist of Tiger Cell at Wildlife Institute of India (WII).
- The application records the track a forest official walks and geotags the sightings of tigers and even other animals or signs which helps in the estimation.
- The data was received from 491 forest divisions of India and it was processed using M-STrIPES software.
- M-STrIPES, the application used by forest guards, is GPS (Global Positioning System) enabled and helps to capture data relating to tiger sightings, deaths, wildlife crime and ecological observations while patrolling.
- Nearly 27,000 camera traps were set up in 141 locations covering an area of 121,337 sq km and they took nearly 3.48 crore photographs. Out of the total pictures, about 80,000 were of tigers.
- The other software used for tiger estimation were Spatially Explicit Capture Recapture (SECR) and Extract Compare, which helped to differentiate between the stripes of tigers as each has a different pattern.
♦ Parent Organization: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
♦ Established: 1982
♦ Headquarters: Dehradun, Uttarakhand