Prime Minister Modi released the results of the fourth cycle of All India Tiger Estimation – 2018 on the occasion of Global Tiger Day-2019. According to the Status of Tigers in India 2018 report, the total count of tigers has risen to 2,967 from 2,226 in 2014 — an increase of 741 individuals (aged more than one year), or 33%, in four years. This is by far the biggest increase in terms of both numbers and percentage since the four-yearly census using camera traps and the capture-mark-recapture method began in 2006.
In India, tigers inhabit a wide variety of habitats ranging from the high mountains, mangrove swamps, tall grasslands, to dry and moist deciduous forests, as well as evergreen and shola forest systems. Five major landscapes with tiger population are:
Why conservation of Tigers is necessary ?
Ensuring the conservation of this top carnivore guarantees the well-being of our forested ecosystems, the biodiversity they represent as well as the water and climate security they provide.
- Tigers are at the top of the food chain, often referred to as “umbrella species” and play a vital role in regulating and perpetuating ecological processes.
- The tiger population of India is the largest for any country, accounting for >80% of the Global population of 3,159 adult free-ranging tigers. Therefore, the future of tigers as a species, as well as the success of the Global Tiger Recovery Plan at meeting its targets, depends on successful tiger recovery in India.
- Monitoring the status of tigers, along with associated biodiversity of the encompassing ecosystem, is important to assess our success at meeting the commitment of conserving our natural heritage.
Status of Tigers in India 2018 Report – Key Findings:
- Top Performers: Madhya Pradesh saw the highest number of tigers (526) followed by Karnataka (524) and Uttarakhand (442).
- With 69 tigers, Rajasthan stands 9th position in the predatory feline population across the country.
- In Central India Landscape and Eastern-Ghats covering eight states (Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Rajasthan) – Rajasthan stands 3rd in tiger population.
- Worst Performers: Chhattisgarh and Mizoram saw a decline in tiger population.
- Tiger Sanctuaries: An evaluation of India’s 50 tiger sanctuaries was also released along with the 4th National Tiger Estimation (Tiger census).
- Madhya Pradesh’s Pench Sanctuary and Kerala’s Periyar sanctuary emerged as the best-managed tiger reserves in the country.
- Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu registered the “maximum improvement” since 2014.
- The Dampa (Mizoram) and Rajaji reserve (Uttarakhand) are at the bottom of the list in terms of Tiger count.
- No tiger has been found in the Buxa (West Bengal), Palamau (Jharkhand) and Dampa (Mizoram) reserves.
Tigers in India 2018 Report: Methods used for Estimation
During the 4th cycle, in sync with Government of India’s “Digital India” initiative, data was collected using an Android based application- M-STrIPES ( Monitoring system for Tigers’ Intensive Protection and Ecological Status) and analyzed on the applications’ desktop module.
Besides cameras were placed in 26760 locations which gave a total of 35 million images of wildlife including 76523 images of tigers. Segregation of these images was possible in a short time because of use of artificial intelligence software.
The intensity with which the exercise was conducted resulted in 83 % of the tiger population being captured wherein 2461 individual tiger photographs were obtained and only 17 % of the tiger population was estimated using robust spatially explicit capture recapture statistical models.
The report jointly prepared by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) states that the fourth cycle of the national tiger status assessment of 2018-19 is the most accurate survey conducted.
Global Tiger Day
- Celebrated annually on July 29th.
- Global Tiger Day was observed for the first time in 2010 at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia when all 13 tiger range countries came together for the first time with the commitment of doubling the number of wild tigers by 2022.
- Global Tiger Recovery Plan which outlines how each country can contribute to the ambitious goal, known as TX2
Download Report PDF:
- Status of Tigers in India 2018: Download PDF