Success story: India's endangered tiger population is up 58% since 2006

Bengal Tiger
CC BY-SA 3.0 Flickr

70% of the world's tigers are in India

Tigers are threatened everywhere, and the wild tiger population has been falling everywhere around the world... Except in India. A recent census of the iconic animal by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) took things to the next level, using 9,735 cameras and monitored 146,000 square-miles of forests, gathering photos of 80% of India's tigers (which can be identified by their unique stripe patterns - a "fingerprint" that can be used to combat poaching); the results are extremely encouraging - good news for a change! - with the tiger population going from 1,706 in 2011 to 2,226 in 2014, a 30% increase!

And compared to 2006, when the number of tigers was estimated to be 1,411, this is actually a 58% increase!

This is even better news than it might seem, because about 70% of the world's tigers can be found in India, making the country extremely important to the survival of the species long-term.

Bengal tigerWikimedia/CC BY-SA 3.0

But before we break out the party hats, we need to remember that there's still a lot of work to be done and tigers (aka Panthera Tigris) are still considered to be "endangered" on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species. The best thing to do is probably to study what was done in India and export these techniques to other countries where tigers are also struggling, but also to the conservation efforts for other species (when applicable -- the same approach might not work for, say, sea turtles).

Here's a map that shows the range of Bengal Tigers in India and neigbhoring countries:

Bengal Tiger range mapWikimedia/Public Domain


Tags: Animals | Endangered Species | India


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