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Tiger Population Grows in India

The latest All India tiger estimation report has finally been released by MOEF & WII recently. As per this report, there has been a 33.3% growth in the tiger population since the last published one in 2014. As per this estimation, we have now 2967 tigers (average of lower & higher range) which is roughly 50% of the world’s wild tiger population. While most of the states have reported an increase in tiger population. There has been a substantial increase in Madhya Pradesh whereas Karnataka continues topping the charts with 500+ tigers in the state, there has been a decline in population in Chhattisgarh and Orissa

Sharing some of the key highlights of this report along with a link for the entire report at the end.

Key Highlights:

  • This was the Fourth such exercise done in India after the methodology was approved by the Tiger task force in 2005, previous surveys were done in 2006, 2010 & 2014.
  • The method used for this purpose is called the double sampling technique which involves a mix of a ground survey of all potential tiger forests across the country followed by remote camera trapping, DNA sampling & line transect distance sampling for prey base estimation.
  • The tiger population in India seems to be growing at a rate of 6% year on year.
  • No tigers were recorded in Buxa, Dhampa and Palamu tiger reserves.
  • A total of 381400 square kilometres across 20 tiger states was used for this study.
  • 26838 camera traps were deployed covering 121337 sq km for this study at 141 sites capturing 2461 individual tigers.
  • The lower range of this estimation is 2603 whereas the higher range number is 3346
  • All individuals >1.5 years of age were included in the survey.

Population trends in state wise & region wise depicted below chart:

Fantastic this is great news…. congrats to the tigers, after all, they are responsible for this growth mainly. 
Not to take away the credit from all other agencies involved at ground level.

state wise & region wise data comparison for all 3 tiger estimations

Estimation data

Have we reached the threshold of tigers India can sustain?

So, is it the maximum number of tigers we can have in India? Given the fact rapid urbanization, depleting forest covers, non-existent corridors, preference for development over the environment, zero possibility of the emergence of new forests etc. are real challenges to the growth of the tiger population. The good news is some existing areas have the potential to hold more tigers than they are currently holding, easier to get in order, right? So as per this report Sanjay- Guru Ghasidas in MP & Chattisgarh, Kawal & Srisailam in AP, Simlipal & Satkosia- Orrisa, Manas in Assam, Buxa in West Bengal, Palamu in Jharkhand, Achanakmar & Indravati in Chattisgarh are areas to be nurtured in terms of protection and prey base as these are potential tiger habitats.

Easier said than done would say many of these areas have their own sets of challenges including tribal rights, naxal problems and so on but as always, I am a dreamer & do see the striped cat roaming freely in these potential habitats like some of the existing famous tiger reserves in India.




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