Explained: Why India’s tigers are increasing

  1. The tiger census report, Status of Tigers in India, 2018 has been released. The tiger census in India is conducted every four years.
  2. The first tiger census was conducted in 2006. The Tiger Census in India is the world’s most extensive biodiversity mapping exercise. It is conducted by National tiger Conservation Authority and Wildlife Institute of India.
  3. The census was carried out in four phases. Phases 1 and 2 covered forest beats, generally spread over 15 sq km each, by Forest Departments, to collect signs of tiger presence like scat and pugmarks.
  4. This was followed by sampling of plots along the transects to assess habitat characteristics, human impact, and prey dung density.
  5. In phase 3, the information was plotted on the forest map prepared with remote-sensing and GIS application. Sample areas were divided in 2-sq-km parcels, and trap cameras were laid in these grids.
  6. In the last phase, data were extrapolated to areas where cameras could not be deployed.
  7. The tiger census is an important exercise. The tiger numbers reflect the success or failure of conservation efforts.
  8. In 2010, the governments of the world’s 13 tiger range countries put forward the Global Tiger Recovery Plan. The plan outlines how each country could double the number of tiger population in the country.
  9. The Plan was part of the ambitious species conservation goal called Tx2 set up by the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF). The goals is to double the number of wild tigers by 2022.
  10. Since India constitutes 80% of global tiger population, conservation efforts in India is particularly important for conserving the global tiger population.
  11. India has strengthened its Project Tiger programme, originally launched in 1973. Apart from Tiger Reserves, there has been increased focus on tigers even in the areas under the territorial and commercial forestry arms of Forest Departments.
  12.  Further, with increased vigilance India has been successfully able to curb tiger poaching which has helped wild tigers to breed.