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- Project Tiger was launched in 1973 with 9 tiger reserves for conserving national animal Tiger.
- Currently, the Project Tiger coverage has increased to 50, spread out in 18 tiger range states.
- The tiger reserves are constituted on a core/buffer strategy.
- The core areas have the legal status of a national park or a sanctuary, whereas the buffer or peripheral areas are a mix of forest and non-forest land, managed as a multiple use area.
- It is an ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change providing central assistance to the tiger States for tiger conservation in designated tiger reserves.
- Tigers are at the top of the food chain and are sometimes referred to as “umbrella species” that is their conservation also conserve many other species in the same area.
- India accounts for majority of the 3,500-odd tigers that are scattered among Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russian Federation, Thailand and Vietnam.
- India’s five tiger landscapes are- Shivalik Hills and Gangetic Plains, Central Indian Landscape and Eastern Ghats, Western Ghats, North-East Hills and Brahmaputra Plains, and the Sundarbans.
- Global Tiger Day (July 29th) was observed for the first time in 2010 at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia when all 13 tiger range countries came together for the first time with the commitment of doubling the number of wild tigers by 2022.
- Global Tiger Recovery Plan which outlines how each country can contribute to the ambitious goal, known as TX2.
National Tiger Conservation Authority
- The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is a statutory body of the Ministry, with an overarching supervisory/coordination role, performing functions as provided in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- The NTCA was launched in 2005, following the recommendations of the Tiger Task Force.
- It was given statutory status by 2006 amendment of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- Spread over 4,262 sq km, the Sundarbans has mangrove cover in 2,125 sq km in India alone.
- A large part of the Sundarbans forest, the world’s largest mangrove reserve and one of the most unique ecosystems in South Asia recognized as UNESCO World Heritage site, lies in Bangladesh.
- It’s a part of the world’s largest riverine delta, formed by Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers.
- The whole tract of forest reaches about 100-130 km inland from the confluence.
- The Sunderban Tigers are excellent swimmers, they swim for long distances regularly, and at times even 2-3 kms wide big river confluences.
- Hence, the tigers here kill and eat everything, from crabs to human beings.
- Life in these mangrove forests is a challenge for these tigers due to muddy soil, sharp pneumatophores, changing water level due to tides twice a day, salinity of water and scarcity of prey.
- It is actually a wonder how tigers have been surviving in such hostile conditions.
- According to the latest census the number of Royal Bengal Tigers in Sundarbans has risen to 96, up by eight.
- National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) conducts a tiger census across India every 4 years.
- The first was conducted in 2006, followed by 2010 and in 2014.
- The Census (2014) had reported 2,226 tigers in the country, up from 1,706 in 2010.
- The fourth tiger census (All India Tiger Estimation 2018-19) was released in May 2019.
- 2018 tiger census used more technology including a mobile app named “MSTrIPES” for the very first time to store information of the counting.
- Tiger census 2018 covered the northeast India that was not included in the previous census.
- For the very first time three neighboring countries Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh helped in counting the number of tigers all across India, especially in the region with mutual borders in the 2018 tiger census.
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