India’s wild tiger population has increased by more than 30% in four years, raising hopes for the survival of the endangered species.
A recent census put the tiger count to 2,967 up from 2,226 four years ago. However, the tiger population figures are not absolute, it’s in the range of 2,603 to 3,346 and 2967 is the middle ground.
India’s prime Minister, Narendra Modi called it “historic achievement”.
“We reaffirm our commitment towards protecting the tiger. Some 15 years ago, there was serious concern about the decline in the population of tigers. It was a big challenge for us but with determination, we have achieved our goals,” Mr. Modi said.
The latest census used over 26,000 trap cameras that took almost 350,000 images across known tiger habitats. The images were analysed using computer programmes to individually identify each creature. Wildlife and forestry officials also scoured 380,000 sq km of terrain.
India’s tiger population has risen steadily, after falling to a record low of 1,411 in 2006. India increased their tiger reserves from 28 in 2006 to 50 in 2018. Eventually, leading to a healthy increase in the core area populations.
In 1900, over 100,000 tigers roamed in the planet, however their species fell to 3,200 in 2010. Later, India and 12 other countries with tiger populations signed an agreement to double their numbers by 2022.
At the time of India’s independence in 1947 close to 40,000 tigers lived in India. Since then, the indiscriminate killing of the animal for its organs has pushed them to the edge of extinction.