India is currently home to 2967 royal tigers which is 70% of the global tiger population. This was not always the case. India has worked regularly and relentlessly (with more forest coverage and better conservation efforts) in increasing the population of this endangered species. Today’s article is all about tigers, the authority responsible for conserving them, measures that are being taken to protect them, and others. We will also cover various tiger reserves in India and some important information related to them. Before proceeding further, let’s know a little more about tigers.
Photo by Blake Meyer on Unsplash
The Scientific name of a tiger is Panthera tigris. It comes under Endangered species in the IUCN classification. Endangered species are the species which are very likely to become extinct in the near future. Now, the question arises, what is IUCN? IUCN stands for International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. It is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It is headquartered in Gland, Switzerland.
Why do we need to conserve tigers?
Various projects are being undertaken for the conservation of tigers; an international committee has also been made to do the same. Why is so much effort being put on to protect this one species? It is because Tiger plays a vital role in the health and diversity of an ecosystem. It is a top predator and at the apex of the food chain. It also maintains the balance between herbivores and the vegetation they eat. The extinction of this top predator is an indication that its ecosystem is not sufficiently protected, and neither would it exist for long thereafter. Hence, to protect the ecological balance of the food chain, it is essential to protect Tiger at any cost.
Tiger stripes are as unique as human fingerprints.
How has it become an Endangered species?
Tiger has become endangered because it faces threats regularly, hence, it needs protection. The different threats that a tiger face are
1. Poaching which can also be called illegal hunting. It is the most immediate threat to wild tigers.
2. Habitat loss- Due to the increase in the human population, Tigers have lost an estimated 95% of their historical range.
3. Human-wildlife conflict- People are cutting forests, as a result, tigers are forced to leave protected areas in search of food and to establish territories. This takes them into human-dominated areas. In defence, humans have to kill tigers.
Tiger Reserves in India
As mentioned above, India has a population of 2967 royal tigers (According to the results of the All India Tiger Estimation, 2018). These Tigers are distributed all over India in various tiger reserves. There are currently 53 tiger reserves in India (in 18 states). They are governed by Project Tiger, and administered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). The state that has the maximum number of tigers is Madhya Pradesh (526 tigers).
MAP Showing Locations of Tiger Reserves in India
Project Tiger was launched by the Government of India in April 1973 to protect tigers in India. It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC). Under this project, central assistance is provided for tiger conservation in designated tiger reserves. This project was started with 9 tiger reserves. Over time, it has increased to 53 (at present). These tiger reserves are spread across 18 states in India.
The budget and expenditure details of Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS)- Project Tiger for the period 2016-17 to 2020-21 is as follows:
National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)
NTCA or National Tiger Conservation Authority is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. It has been constituted under section 38 L (1) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The authority derives its power from section 38 O (1) of WLPA, 1972 and functions under the guidance of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and members.
The cabinet minister acts as chairperson of the authority and the minister of state is the Vice-Chairperson of the same.
Cabinet Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change: Shri Bhupender Yadav (Rajasthan).
Minister of State – Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Bihar)
International Tigers Day
International Tigers Day is celebrated annually on July 29. The purpose is to raise awareness about the need to protect tigers. This year’s theme is “Their survival is in our hands”. It was first celebrated on July 29, 2010, where a number of countries signed an agreement at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit, Russia. According to the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the current population of the tiger is 3,900.
53rd Tiger Reserve- Guru Ghasidas National Park (as of 2022)
National Tiger Conservation Authority has designated the combined area of Guru Ghasidas National Park (Sanjay National Park) and Tamor Pingla Wildlife Sanctuary as India’s 53rd Tiger Reserve. With this, Chattisgarh has now a total of 4 Tiger Reserves in total
Know about Guru Ghasidas National Park in detail.
- The Guru Ghasidas National Park, previously known as Sanjay National Park, is located in the districts of Koriya and Surguja in northern Chhattisgarh.
- Guru Ghasidas National Park connects Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh and provides a corridor for tigers to move between the Babdavgarh and Palamau Tiger Reserves.
- It is located on the Chhotanagpur plateau and a portion of the Baghelkhand plateau, bordering Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.
- Flora: The vegetation is mostly mixed deciduous forest with teak, sal, and bamboo trees.
- Fauna:Tiger, Leopard, Chital, Nilgai, Sambar, Four-horned Antelope and others.
- It covers an area of 2898.70 square kilometres
52nd Tiger Reserve- Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary
Photo by Rajasthan Tourism Department, GOI
India got its 52nd tiger reserve in Rajasthan after consistent tiger conservation efforts. The Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary in Rajasthan has become the 52nd tiger reserve after getting the green signal from the National Tiger Conservation Authority. With this, Rajasthan now has four tiger reserves in total after Ranthambore, Sariska and Mukundra tiger reserves.
Know about Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary
- The Ramgarh Sanctuary is like a buffer area of the Ranthambore National Park.
- The Ramgarh sanctuary covers an area of around 252 square kilometres.
- Wild animals that can be found in this area are- the Indian wolf, leopard, striped hyena, sloth bear, golden jackal, chinkara, nilgai among others.
List of Tiger Reserves in India
The Tiger Reserves comprise
- Core Area (Critical Tiger Habitat Area, notified by State Govt.)
- Buffer Area (Peripheral Area)
|S. No.||Name of Tiger Reserve||State||Total Area (In Sq.Kms.)|
|1||Nagarjunsagar Srisailam||Andhra Pradesh||3296.31|
|3||Kamlang Tiger Reserve||Arunachal Pradesh||783|
|7||Orang Tiger Reserve||Assam||492.46|
|18||Biligiri Ranganatha Temple||Karnataka||574.82|
|47||Amangarh (buffer of Corbett TR) and Corbett||Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand||80.6 (Amargarh)1288.31 (Corbett)|
|48||Rajaji Tiger Reserve||Uttarakhand||1075.17|
|51||Srivilliputhur Megamalai||Tamil Nadu||1016.57|
|52.||Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary||Rajasthan||252|
|53.||Guru Ghasidas National Park||Chhattisgarh||466.67|
Important points from the exam point of view:
1. Top five states with the maximum number of tigers: Madhya Pradesh – 526 tigers, Karnataka – 524 tigers, Uttarakhand – 442 tigers, Maharashtra – 312 tigers and Tamil Nadu – 264 tigers.
2. Corbett Tiger Reserve has the highest number of tigers in India (231 tigers).
3. Corbett Tiger Reserve has Jim Corbett National Park which is the first and oldest National Park in India, established in 1936 (as Hailey National Park).
4. Buffer area of Corbett Tiger Reserve is known as Amangarh Tiger Reserve in Uttar Pradesh.
5.First National Park to come under Project Tiger is the Jim Corbett National Park.
6. Bor Tiger Reserve is area wise the smallest tiger reserve in India.
7. Nagarjuna Sagar Sagar Tiger reserve is area wise the largest tiger reserve in India.
So this was it for the Tiger Reserves in India. This topic is beneficial for exams like IBPS RRB PO/Clerk, IBPS PO/Clerk, SSC CGL/CHSL/CPO, Railways NTPC/Group D and others.