World Tiger Day: India now hosts 70% of World Tiger Population

July 29th is celebrated as a day to raise awareness for tiger conservation. July 29 is a day to promote a global movement to support efforts to protect the natural habitats of Tigers and also to educate the people about the needs for tiger conservation.

The total Tiger population in India is estimated to be 2,226 according to the latest census report released in January. This represents an increase of 30% since the last count that was held in 2010.The tiger population dipped to an alarming level in 2006 when it reached 1411. The situation improved marginally in 2010 when it was 1706.

India is now home to 70% of t6he tigers on the planet. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar released the countrywide tiger assessment report for 2014. He was satisfied with the progress. He added that tiger population is increasing in India while the Tiger population around the world is falling.

According to NTCA or the National Tiger Conservation Authority, 64 Tigers were lost all over the country for different reasons with Tamil Nadu topping the table. TN saw 15 tiger deaths followed by Madhya Pradesh, which saw 14 deaths.

Indiscriminate hunting during the British Raj followed by rapid loss of Tiger habitat due to population boom led to a steep decline in Tiger population from 100,000 at the beginning of 20th century to 1,411 in 2006.

What India has achieved can be described as miraculous. In the world where every day a couple of species are becoming extinct, India has managed to make a 30% recovery in tiger population within a span of just seven years. Increased awareness and publicity spearheaded by wildlife conservatives and animal lovers has made this miracle possible.

However, the fight is not over with conservatives at loggerheads with authorities all the time. The Indian Government is thinking of relaxing the ban on hunting under the ambit of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Wild animals labeled as Vermins like wild boar and Nilgai, which cause damage to crops can be hunted by farmers to prevent economic losses. It is this very logic that has brought Tigers to the brink of extinction- Economic loss and a threat to mankind. Ironic indeed.

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