Good News: Wild Tigers on the Increase in India

    Is any animal more magnificent than the tiger?  What a loss it would be for the world if this sleek, strong, and beautiful cat, so admiringly described by William Blake (see below), were no more.  And until recently, it looked as if the tiger could soon disappear.

     But  with a hopeful heart I can report that the numbers of this greatly endangered animal are increasing in India.  A recent survey conducted by India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority found that there are 1,706 tigers living in the wild in India.  This is 225 more than existed there in the wild in 2004, the last time such a survey was taken.  About 70% of India’s tigers live in 39 tiger preserves around the country.   

     At the start of the twentieth century, more than 100,000 tigers roamed wild in India.  But in just 100 years, their numbers plummeted by 97%, as 94% of their home range was lost, and they were hunted for body parts.  But in recent years, India’s government has made a concerted effort to save the tiger from extinction. 

     “The good news is that we can save the tiger,” says Azzedine Downes, executive vice president of the International Fund for Animal Welfare.  India’s success shows that strong protection of core areas where tigers live and the areas that connect them, combined with effective management of surrounding areas. produce results, explains Mike Baltzer, head of the World Wildlife Fund’s Tigers Alive Initiative.  ”We can not only halt their decline, but ensure tigers make a strong and lasting comeback,” says Baltzer.     

     In addition to working to protect the wild tigers within its own borders, India is working with other tiger range nations as well.  About half of the world’s wild tigers live in India, and the others are spread among many other Asian countries.  Last November, scientists and government leaders of 13 tiger range nations gathered to launch the Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP).  GTRP’s goal is to double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022.   The tiger range nations are supported in their initiative by the World Wildlife Fund, National Geographic, Wildlife Conservation Society, and many other organizations.

     Besides India, wild tigers are found in Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, China, and Russia.–April Moore

 

photo credit:  Dave Watts

photo credit: Dave Watts

 

P.S.  If you’d like to read William Blake’s breathless poem The Tyger, just click here:   http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/~keith/poems/tyger.html

 

 

 

One Response to “Good News: Wild Tigers on the Increase in India”

  1. Tanya Bohlke Says:

    What wonderful news about the world’s most majestic and beautiful animal!

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