New Delhi: After a massive survey across 18 states, the government is finally set to release the present count of tigers in the country. The Tiger Estimation Report 2018 would be released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, here on Monday.
The population of the Asian cat is dwindling across countries due to habitat loss and poaching. India is home to majority of the world’s population of tigers. The last survey conducted in 2014 has put the total number of tigers in the country to 2,226. However, India is still short of its target of doubling the numbers, which it has committed during the Tiger Summit in 2010.
In 2010, the governments of the world’s 13 tiger range countries including India gathered and created the Global Tiger Recovery Plan, outlining how each country could double the number of tiger population in the country. The Plan was part of the ambitious species conservation goal called Tx2 set up by the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) which raised concerns over the alarming decline in the population of wild tigers across the globe. As per WWF, only 3,200 were left in the entire world in 2010.
The results to be released today, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi are crucial as India is racing to meet the target to double the number of wild tigers by 2022 which is also the next Year of the Tiger. While Nepal is inching to become the first country to reach the goal, India also continues to record an increase in its tiger population.
According to the tiger count maintained by the government so far, the population of the Asian cat is on the rise since the first survey was conducted in 2006. The population was recorded at 1,411, which increased to 2,226 in 2014. The results to be shared today are also expected to show an increase in the number of the tigers.
The tiger count is prepared after every four years by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) provides details on the number of tigers in the 18 tiger reign states with 50 tiger reserves. However, this time, the census would also include data collected from the rough terrains of north-eastern states which was not possible due to logistic constrains before.
The entire exercise spanned over four years is considered to be world’s largest wildlife survey effort in terms of coverage and intensity of sampling. Over 15, 000 cameras were installed at various strategic points to capture the movement of tigers. This was supported by extensive data collected by field personnel and satellite mapping.
Taking a step further, authorities have attempted to digitize the records by mandating the use of a GIS based app called M-STRiPES (Monitoring System For Tigers-Intensive Protection and Ecological Status) developed by Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India.