New Delhi: Tiger population in the country is estimated to be around 2,226, a rise of over 30 per cent since the last count in 2010, according to the latest census report released today.
The total number of tigers were estimated to be around 1,706 in 2010. Tiger population had dipped to an alarming 1,411 in 2006 but has improved since then.
Releasing the country wide tiger assessment report for 2014, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar termed it as a "success story" and noted that while the tiger population is falling in the world, it is rising in India.
"Most of the tigers in the world are presently in India. 70 per cent of the world's tigers are now in India. We have the world's best managed tiger reserves. When we last counted the tigers, it was 1,706. The latest estimation shows there are 2,226 tigers. We must be proud of our legacy. We have increased by 30 per cent from the last count. That is a huge success story," Javadekar said.
He said that India has unique photographs of 80 per cent of tigers while stating that around 9,735 cameras were used in the estimation. He claimed that nowhere in the world, so many cameras have been used for such an exercise.
The report said that the total estimated population of tigers was somewhere around 1,945-2491 (2,226) as per 2014 report while as per the 2010 report, it was between 1,520-1909.
The third round of country level tiger assessment using the refined methodology of doubling sampling using camera traps has recorded an increase in tiger population.
"In 2006, the mid value of such a (once in four years) snap shot assessment using the same methodology was 1,411, in 2010 it was 1706 and now in 2014, it stands at 2,226. This is an increase of almost 30.5 per cent since the last estimate," an official statement said.
Officials said that a total of 3,78,118 sq km of forest area in 18 tiger states were surveyed with a total of 1,540 unique tiger photo captures.
Tiger population has increased in several states like Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, officials said.
Javadekar credited the combined efforts of officers, forest guards, community participation and scientific approach for the rise in tiger population.
"That is why we want to create more tiger reserves. This is a proof of India's biodiversity and how we care for mitigating climate change. This is India's steps in the right direction which the world will applaud," he said.
Talking about human-animal conflict, the Environment Minister said that "proactive" steps will be taken in this regard.
"We must ensure animal-human conflict does not happen. We have proactively decided that we will create more grasslands and water storage in forest areas so that animals can live well," he said.
He said that problem was more acute where elephants were concerned. While in case of tigers it was seven deaths, around 100 people had died in such conflicts with elephants.
"We have to avoid this...If we put all deaths of human-animal conflict, it becomes 300 and more which means we are losing one person per day and that should not happen. We are taking new initiatives," he told reporters later.
The third round of independent management effectiveness evaluation of tiger reserves has shown an overall improvement in the score of 43 tiger reserves from 65 per cent in 2010-11 to 69 per cent in 2014, officials said.
An economic valuation of six tiger reserves done for the first time has provided quantitative and qualitative estimates of benefits accruing from tiger reserves which include ecological, economic, social and cultural services, they said.
A compendium on the profile of tiger reserves was also released besides a report on corridors and a book on tiger dynamics. Several tiger reserves were also recognised for excelling in select thematic areas.
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