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India’s Tiger Population Reaches 3,682 After Detailed Count; Urgent Protection Needed for 35% of Reserves
On International Tiger Day, the Indian government released the final report of the All India Tiger Estimation (2022), revealing that the country’s tiger population is estimated to be 3,682, with the upper estimate at 3,925. This figure comes after a comprehensive count conducted four months after the initial minimum estimate of at least 3,167 tigers.
Methodology and Data Analysis
The data analysis for the tiger count was conducted by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in Dehradun. The study considered tiger presence areas covered by camera traps as well as those not covered by them. While the minimum estimate of tiger population based on confirmed camera-trapped individuals was 3,080, the number was projected to be around 3,167 when extrapolated to regions without camera traps using models.
Increase in Tiger Population in Specific Regions
The report highlighted a significant increase in the tiger population in certain regions of India. Central India, Shivalik Hills, and the Gangetic plains, particularly in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Maharashtra, saw notable growth in tiger numbers. Among these, Madhya Pradesh now boasts the largest tiger population, with 785 tigers, followed by Karnataka with 563, Uttarakhand with 560, and Maharashtra with 444.
Tiger Abundance in Reserves
The report also provided insights into the tiger abundance within various tiger reserves across the country. The highest tiger population within reserves was recorded in Corbett in Uttarakhand with 260 tigers, followed by Bandipur (150) and Nagarhole (141) in Karnataka, Bandhavgarh in Madhya Pradesh (135), Dudhwa in Uttar Pradesh (135), Mudumalai in Tamil Nadu (114), Kanha in Madhya Pradesh (105), Kaziranga in Assam (104), Sundarbans in West Bengal (100), Tadoba in Maharashtra (97), Sathyamangalam in Tamil Nadu (85), and Pench, also in Madhya Pradesh, with 77 tigers.
Call for Urgent Protection
While the tiger population estimation brings some positive news, the report highlights the need for urgent protection of tiger reserves. Approximately 35% of the reserves face immediate threats and require focused conservation efforts to safeguard the tiger population and their habitats.
Periodic Tiger Counting
India conducts a tiger population count every four years, led by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). However, some wildlife experts and scientists have raised questions about the methodology and data analysis used in the process.
With this latest tiger count, India’s efforts to conserve and protect its tiger population continue, aiming to ensure the survival and thriving of this majestic species in its natural habitat.