Tiger Conservation Efforts – Project Tiger, etc.

India can’t handle more tigers, say experts


Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Findings of the survey

Mains level: Tiger conservation in India


  • With increasing tiger count in India, global experts and officials in the government suggest that India must also prepare for a new challenge — of reaching the limits of its management capacity.

What do numbers say?

  1. Officially, India had 2,226 tigers as of 2014.
  2. An ongoing census is expected to reveal an update to these numbers.
  3. But experts from the Global Tiger Forum, said that India’s current capacity to host tigers ranged from 2,500-3,000 tigers.

Signs of Mismanagement

  1. 25-35% of India’s tigers now lived outside protected reserves.
  2. With dwindling core forest as well as the shrinking of tiger corridors, there are several challenges — alongside the traditional challenges of poaching and man-animal conflict.
  3. Recent attempts at translocating tigers to unpopulated reserves, such as Satkosia in Orissa, have ended badly, with one of the tigers dying.

Way Forward

  1. When tiger recovery efforts began 50 years ago we had about 2,000 tigers.
  2. If after all this effort and expenditure, we are satisfied with just 3,000 tigers, it points at a serious management problem.
  3. Needlessly huge amount of money is being dumped repeatedly on the same 25,000-30,000 sq. km area where tigers are already at saturation densities.
  4. However other areas with potential for future recovery are starved of key investments.
  5. There are vast tracts of potential tiger habitat that can be used to improve prey density, develop tiger corridors and therefore support a much larger population.

Facts for Prelims

  1. Since 2006, the WII has been tasked with coordinating the tiger estimation exercise.
  2. The once-in-four-years exercise calculated, in 2006, that India had only 1,411 tigers.
  3. This rose to 1,706 in 2010 and 2,226 in 2014 on the back of improved conservation measures and new estimation methods.

International Stock Taking Conference on Tiger Conservation

  1. The 3rd Stock Taking Conference on Tiger Conservation was recently inaugurated in New Delhi.
  2. Third in a series of Stock Taking Conferences, this is the second to be held in India after 2012.
  3. The conference is being hosted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, MoEFCC in close collaboration with the Global Tiger Forum.
  4. Barring China, all other tiger-range countries — Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, India and Nepal — were part of the conference in New Delhi.
  5. The member countries have signed a declaration to double tiger numbers by 2022.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments