What is Project Tiger ?Project Tiger is a tiger conservation program launched in April 1973 by the Government of India to stem the dwindling population of the big cats and work to increase their numbers.
Project Tiger was started with 9 tiger reserves, currently, the project 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.
The government has set up a Tiger Protection Force to combat poachers and funded the relocation of villagers to minimize human-tiger conflicts.
Tiger is categorised as Schedule I under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, Endangered under IUCN and Appendix I under CITES.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)The National Tiger Conservation Authority (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.
It is a statutory body of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MOEFCC), with an overarching supervisory/coordination role, performing functions as provided in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
Tiger census 2018-19Tiger census is a four-yearly exercise carried out by Wildlife Institute of India (WII - funded by MoEF) and NTCA.
The first census 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.
2006 census concluded that Indian tiger numbers had hit an all-time low of 1,411 in 2006 and all the tigers from the Sariska reserve in Rajasthan had disappeared.
The fourth tiger census 2018-19 reported that the total count of tigers has risen to 2,967 from 2,226 in 2014 with more than half of them in Madhya Pradesh (526) and Karnataka (524).
India has achieved the target of doubling the tiger count four years ahead of the deadline of 2022.
Double sampling method was introduced in 2006 census, it is based on ground-based surveys and actual images captured on camera-traps.
M-STrIPES (Monitoring System for Tigers - Intensive Protection and Ecological Status) is an app based monitoring system, launched across Indian tiger reserves by the NTCA in 2010.
For the 2018 census, ground staff involved in the count used the MSTrIPES app.
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.
According to tiger census, 2018-19 - Madhya Pradesh (526) has the highest tiger population, followed by Karnataka (524) and Uttarakhand (442). Among the NE states, Assam (190) has the highest tiger population.
India is home to almost 70 % of the world tiger population. Around 40% of India's estimated 2,226 tigers (2014 census) live outside the core areas of tiger habitats.
The biggest increase has been in Madhya Pradesh - a massive 218 individuals (71%). Chhattisgarh and Mizoram saw a decline in the tiger population.
Jim Corbett (Uttrakhand) has 231 tigers followed by Nagarhole and Bandipore reserves in Karnataka with 127 and 126 tigers respectively.
In Buxa, Dampa, and Palamau, which are tiger reserves, no trace of the animal was found.