50 YEARS OF PROJECT TIGER Syllabus GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     10th January 2024        

Context: Tiger Reserves are hailed worldwide as India’s miraculous success story in environment and forest conservation, especially in this age of climate change.

Project Tiger

  • Ministry: It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Ministry of Environment.
  • Launched in: 1973 for in-situ conservation of wild tigers in designated tiger reserves.
  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has an overarching supervisory role, performing functions as provided under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Expansion of Tiger Reserves: In 1973, there were only nine Reserves covering 9,115 sq. km.
  • Currently, there are 54 Reserves in 18 States, occupying 78,135.956 sq. km. This constitutes 2.38% of India's total land area.
  • Critical Tiger Habitats (CTH):  It was created to secure part of India's forests for tiger-centric agendas.

oThis represents 26% of the area under National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.

  • Evolution of Tiger Census Methods: The first tiger census in 1972 used the pug-mark method, counting 1,827 tigers.

oAs of 2022, the more reliable camera-trap method estimates 3,167-3,925 tigers.

oIndia's tiger population is growing at a rate of 6.1% per year.

  • Tiger Conservation status: IUCN – Endangered, CITES – Appendix I, WPA, 1972 – Schedule I.