Does India play an important role in tiger conservation in the world?

By Thomas Joseph

‘India is home to 70% of the world’s tigers. That is why it is our responsibility to protect tigers to preserve our ecosystem ”, tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of International Tiger Day.

The motto this time is ‘its existence is in our hands’. This means that this great creature can only survive on earth if man believes so.

While the role of tigers, the true kings of the Indian jungle, is so important to keeping our biodiversity intact, it is also the indigenous people who have to deal with Tiger Day most importantly. The role of predatory carnivores, such as tigers, in controlling the number of herbivorous animals cannot be underestimated. Otherwise, the balance of nature itself will be lost and human beings will starve.

In his tweet, the Prime Minister recalled that we must focus on the tiger-friendly ecosystem and forge ahead with the centuries-old way of life that goes hand in hand with the forest and its animals.

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Why one day?

At the 2010 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, all the world’s leading countries signed an agreement. July 29 is World Tiger Day, a condition of the agreement. It was also decided at the summit that the number of endangered tiger species in the world and the resulting changes in biodiversity would be closely studied.

Now two species of tiger remain. Continental tigers (Panthera tigris) and Sunda tigers (Panthera tigris Sontaika). Of these, only the Sumatran tigers found in Indonesia remain in the Sunda section. The Balinese and Javanese are in danger. Continental tigers are more numerous. There are Bengali, Malay, Indochinese, and Amur (Siberian) tribes. Among them, the Caspian tiger is in danger. Also, according to the World Wildlife Organization, South China tigers have become extinct. Bengal tigers are found in the subcontinent, which includes India, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

The countries with the most tigers had decided in St. Petersburg at the time that they would double the number of tigers in 2010 by 2022. According to him, the Prime Minister officially announced in 2018 that India had achieved this feat four years before 2022. With this, India became home to 70% of the world’s tigers.

But India is the first country to implement the Tiger Conservation Law. The goal of the 1973 Project Tiger project was to keep the national animal in danger of extinction in India. Starting with just 9 tiger reserves in 1973, there are now 51 reserves across the country. A total area of ​​71,027.10 square feet is reserved for tigers in 18 states.

Periyar and Parambikulam in Kerala are national parks as part of this project. The number of tigers has increased from 46 in 2006 to 71 in 2010. It later rose to 136 in 2014.

There has also been a reassuring increase in the total number of tigers in India. The total number of tigers in the country rose from 2,226 in the 2014 census to 2,967 in 2018. The fact that India has succeeded is at a time when tigers are on the brink of extinction for the country itself.

But at the international level, the figures are not so comforting. Seventy percent of tigers live in India, but on the other hand, there are only 3,900 tigers left in the world. These are the figures from the World Wide Fund for Nature.

Tigers are found only in Asia and the Siberian region of Russia. Weighing in at around 60,660, this large creature faces many challenges today to complete its average life expectancy of 20 years. The biggest challenge for a tiger is surviving habitat change, excessive human encroachment, scarcity of other animals that feed on it, and prey of skin and claws. Siberian Amur tigers are the most preyed upon.

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