International Tiger Day
• As per Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar : India has 70 per cent of global tiger population • The beautiful, awe-inspiring tiger is one of our planet’s most iconic animals. But here’s the shocking truth. Wild tiger numbers dropped by more than 95% since the beginning of the 20th century. Now, for the first time in conservation history, their numbers are on the increase. • WHY TIGERS ARE SO IMPORTANT • As top predators, tigers help to keep their environment healthy. • It’s the way things naturally work in the wild – the predators prey on other animals, in this case herbivores (plant-eaters) such as deer. But without enough tigers to eat them, herbivores can overgraze and damage the land, disrupting the balance of the local environment. • Local people also depend on a healthy environment for food, water and lots of other resources. By helping protect tigers we’re also helping look after the places where they live, which is good for all the people and wildlife sharing that environment. • Affected by: Illegal wildlife trade , Human wildlife conflict , Habitat loss and fragmentation • Can you imagine a world without tigers? It was almost a reality. By 2010 their numbers had dropped to an all time low of 3,200 and reduced to just 5% of their historical range. • But in that same year the world took action to bring tigers back from the brink of extinction. In an historic moment, all 13 countries with tiger populations at the time made a commitment to double wild tigers by 2022 - the Chinese Year of the Tiger. It remains one of the most ambitious conservation goals ever for a single species. • The magnificent tiger, Panthera tigris is a striped animal. It has a thick yellow coat of fur with dark stripes. The combination of grace, strength, agility and enormous power has earned the tiger its pride of place as the national animal of India. Out of eight races of the species known, the Indian race, the Royal Bengal Tiger, is found throughout the country except in the north-western region and also in the neighbouring countries, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. To check the dwindling population of tigers in India, 'Project Tiger' was launched in April 1973. So far, 27 tiger reserves have been established in the country under this project, covering an area of 37,761 sq km.