The government of India launched Project Tiger in 1973 intending to conserve and protect the nation's tiger population. April 9, 2022, marked the 50th year of the project, during which Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi declared the minimum tiger population of 3,167. On further analysis of data, The All India Tiger Estimation-2022, released on July 29, 2023, confirmed that India is home to 3,682 tigers.
After 50 years of Project Tiger, the Government of India has made significant strides in safeguarding the country's tiger population. According to the latest government data, India currently harbours almost 75% of the world's wild tiger population. The state with the largest tiger population of 785 tigers is Madhya Pradesh. Karnataka and Uttarakhand also share commendable records with 563 and 560 tigers, respectively.
On July 29, 2023, a detailed report was released by Union MoS Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, stating an annual rise of 6%. The report highlighted that the number of tigers in India has increased from 2,967 in 2018 to 3,682 in 2022. This constant rise over the 5 decades was possible due to the right measures taken by different states. The decline in the tiger population during the 1980s due to extensive poaching was combated by the introduction of a second phase in 2005.
India has been able to reap the results of the second phase over the years. The second phase of Project Tiger adopted a landscape-level approach with community involvement. The government implemented strict laws and used modern technologies for scientific monitoring. Although approximately over 35% of the country's tiger reserves still urgently require proper aid for the reintroduction or protection of tiger species, many tiger reserves have shown remarkable growth.
The preservation and protection of tiger populations in India are relevant for maintaining and ensuring ecological integrity. Sustainable measures are required by different sectors to minimize mining impacts, intensify anti-poaching measures, and address human-wildlife conflict. This will ensure the continuous growth of the tiger population in India and help uplift states like Mizoram, Nagaland, Jharkhand, Goa, Chhattisgarh, and Arunachal Pradesh which still have small tiger populations.
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