Good news, everyone! Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi announced on Monday that tiger populations in India have increased by one-third, going from 2,226 individuals in 2014 to 2,967 in 2018. India is now home to 70 percent of the world’s population of tigers.
In 2006, there were only 1,411 free-roaming tigers in the Asian nation. Ever since, the population has been growing at a good rate per year. There are less than 4,000 tigers left in the wild between 13 countries, which include Nepal, China, Russia, Thailand, and Indonesia to name a few. In many nations, the number of tigers is around or less than 100. In a few, there is only limited evidence that they are still there.
Due to human activity, 93 percent of lands that tigers used to roam have been altered. That combined with indiscriminate hunting have dramatically reduced the population. A century ago, it is estimated that there were around 100,000 individuals in the world.
“The results of the just declared tiger census would make every Indian, every nature lover happy,” Prime Minister Modi said in a tweet. “Nine long years ago, it was decided in St. Petersburg that the target of doubling the tiger population would be 2022. We in India completed this target four years early.”
The doubling Modi is referring to is the 2006 count of the tiger population. In 2010, when the meeting took place, the population of tigers in India had already increased to 1,706 individuals and the worldwide population was 3,200. The trend suggests India's efforts are truly paying off.
Other countries like Malaysia have been focusing on tackling poaching with higher penalties and jail time. An international wildlife protection network has also been in place between South Asian nations, and more forests have been given protected status so that tigers have hunting grounds away from people.
"In five years, the number of protected areas increased from 692 to over 860 and community reserves from 43 to over 100," Modi said in the press conference. "Today, we can proudly say that with nearly 3,000 tigers, India is one of the world's biggest and most secure habitats."
India chose #InternationalTigerDay to make this announcement.
[H/T: Times of India]