Thursday, January 22, 2015

India's Tiger Population Rises by 30% from 2011 to 2014

Bengal tigress in Jim Corbett National Park

The tiger population of India has recently been reported to have increased by 30 percent from 1,706 animals in 2011 to 2,226 animals in 2014. The new tiger census, which was conducted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, was released by Union Minister of State Prakash Javadekar. The new census report indicated that the tiger population in India had increased to an estimated 1,706 animals from 1,411 in 2008. The outcomes included numbers from seventeen states across India with Karnataka having the highest number of tigers (408) aged 1.5 years and more. In addition, 167 tigers have been recorded in Assam, 136 in Kerala, 190 in Maharashtra, 308 in Madhya Pradesh, 229 in Tamil Nadu, 340 in Uttarakhand, and 117 in Uttar Pradesh. The tiger census from 2008 also categorized India's tiger-populated forests into six landscapes: the Central Indian Landscape Complex, Eastern and Western Ghats, Brahmaputra Plains and Northeastern Hills, Shivalik-Gangetic Plains, and the Sundarbans.
Bengal tiger in Ranthambore National Park

This is great news for wildlife conservationists that the tiger population in India is rising. However, in other parts of Asia, it is a different story. This is especially seen in the case of South China and Sumatran tigers which are listed as "critically endangered." In addition, other remaining tiger subspecies which include the Indochinese, Malayan, and Siberian tiger number around 300 to 400 individuals. Therefore, it is highly crucial to undertake necessary measurements to ensure the survival of these remaining tiger subspecies. In the case of South China and Sumatran tigers, steps should include intense captive breeding and reintroduction efforts in order to revive the global populations of these critically endangered tigers before they are pushed further towards the brink of extinction. The world should never, for any reason whatsoever, wait for any animal species to be extinct in the wild in order to save it. Furthermore, captive breeding and reintroduction efforts should also be implemented for Indochinese, Malayan, and Siberian tigers. This is particularly essential in countries where their population numbers are critically low. These countries include Burma (85) Cambodia (20), China (45), Laos (17), and Vietnam (20). By combining captive breeding efforts in Southeast Asia and other parts of the world and identifying essential habitat areas, tiger populations in the following five Asian countries would likely increase. However, it is crucial to act fast before any tiger population in either one of those countries ceases to exist in the wild.

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