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?
- Officially, India had 2,226 tigers as of 2014.
- An ongoing census is expected to reveal an update to these numbers.
- 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
- 25-35% of India’s tigers now lived outside protected reserves.
- 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.
- Recent attempts at translocating tigers to unpopulated reserves, such as Satkosia in Orissa, have ended badly, with one of the tigers dying.
- When tiger recovery efforts began 50 years ago we had about 2,000 tigers.
- If after all this effort and expenditure, we are satisfied with just 3,000 tigers, it points at a serious management problem.
- 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.
- However other areas with potential for future recovery are starved of key investments.
- 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
- Since 2006, the WII has been tasked with coordinating the tiger estimation exercise.
- The once-in-four-years exercise calculated, in 2006, that India had only 1,411 tigers.
- 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
- The 3rd Stock Taking Conference on Tiger Conservation was recently inaugurated in New Delhi.
- Third in a series of Stock Taking Conferences, this is the second to be held in India after 2012.
- The conference is being hosted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, MoEFCC in close collaboration with the Global Tiger Forum.
- 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.
- The member countries have signed a declaration to double tiger numbers by 2022.