“Tiger is an incredible part of nature and the increased number of the big cats in India reflects equilibrium in nature,”, said the Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar at the release of the detailed report of Tiger Census on the eve of Global Tiger Day in New Delhi on Tuesday.

“Tigers and other wildlife are a kind of soft power India has to show on the international front. Despite several constraints such as less landmass, India has eight per cent of bio-diversity because our country has a culture of saving and preserving nature, trees and its wildlife. It is praiseworthy that India has 70 per cent of the world’s tiger population. India is tirelessly working with all 13 tiger range countries towards nurturing the tiger,” said Javadekar.

He also announced that his Ministry is working on a programme in which efforts would be made to provide water and fodder to animals in the forest itself to deal with the challenge of human-animal conflict which is causing deaths of animals. For this LIDAR based survey technology will be used for the first time. Lidar is a method for measuring distances by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflection with a sensor.

Highlighting the keystone nature of the tiger, a poster on the presence of small cats was also released. With the presence of nearly 30 per cent of India’s tigers outside tiger reserves, India had embarked upon assessing management interventions through the globally developed Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS) framework which will now be extended to all 50 tiger reserves across the country.

The detailed report of the 4th All India Tiger Estimation is unique in the following ways:

  • Abundance index of co-predators and other species has been carried out which hitherto was restricted only to occupancy
  • Sex ratio of tigers in all camera trap sites has been carried out for the first time
  • Anthropogenic effects on tiger population have been elaborated in a detailed manner
  • Tiger abundance within pockets in tiger reserves has been demonstrated for the first time

The Heads of the Governments of Tiger Range countries at St. Petersburg, Russia, had resolved to double tiger numbers across their global range by 2022 by signing the St. Petersburg declaration on tiger conservation. During the said meeting it was also decided to celebrate July 29 as Global Tiger Day across the world which is since being celebrated to spread and generate awareness on tiger conservation.