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Tiger Population in India Increased 30% since 2010


Image credit: kevdog818/iStockphoto

It is possible that Earth would face the danger of its sixth mass extinction, even though a great amount of work have been done in regard to continuous conservation. For example, the number of tigers, the biggest cats on Earth was reduced by 96% during the period of the last century. However, fortunately, a latest census of tigers in India, where houses seventy percent of all the tigers all over the world, has indicated that numbers have been increased by thirty percent for the past four years, the result that is attributed by conservation officials to more severe crackdown on poaching as well as habitat preservation in the country.

Since 2006 the National Tiger Conservation Authority of India census has been conducting every four years. The ground surveys help collect data about tiger habitats through a network covering more than 9,700 camera traps together with noninvasive genetic testing based on feces samples.

In general, the photos of 80% of all the tigers have been captured respectively in this study. Before the start of this wide-ranged survey, the previous estimation showed that there were roughly 3,500 tigers in India. But such estimates were believed to be quite inflated.

According to the first report made in 2006, it showed that there were just 1,411 tigers living in the country. The following 2010 report revealed a modest increase to 1,706. It is anticipated in the current report that a population would be nearly 1,900, with a similar rate of growth. However officials were surprised to find that there are 2,226 tigers at present all over India. It is not only a 30% increase during the past four years, but also an increase of about 58% since the program was initiated in 2006.

It has been forty years since India enforced the laws against poaching and other wildlife crimes. However, they have not been effectively implemented owing to a shortage of resources. The state of Maharashtra, where see one of the biggest tiger populations in the country, have been battling against poachers from 2012. By doing so, on one hand, the local authority has deployed more rangers on patrol, on the other; it also made the act of wounding or killing poachers to be decriminalized. As many poor poachers are desperate to get benefit from the wildlife crimes, the state government would pay for information concerning poachers and smugglers.

It is said that tigers used to live in 30 countries throughout Asia and the number of them was 100,000 individuals in 1900. By the end of the century, 93% of their historic range had disappeared with the population shrinking by 96% to nearly 3,000. Such incredible loss has been attributed to vast habitat destruction as well as poaching for trophies or traditional medicines, especially in China and Vietnam. Although no evidence has been approved that various parts of tigers could have curative effect for anything from alcoholism to leprosy, some still believe their medical function and are intended to pay up to $370 per pound for the bones alone.

The census in some countries with tiger populations, such as China and Bangladesh, would also be conducted and released in the coming year. This will give conservationists the chance to know more exactly the number of tigers in the world and also help them identify the population trends in the future.

Although the India’s success deserves a celebration, more work need to be done. Like India that has the population of over 1 billion, some other Asian countries are also densely populated. When tiger and human populations grow at the same time, such two species would be possibly overlapped. Therefore, it is necessary and urgent for authorities to work out a plan that would make it possible for humans and tigers to live safely in a harmonious way.