Project Tiger

Last updated

Project Tiger is a tiger conservation programme launched in April 1973 by the Government of India during Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's tenure. The project aims at ensuring a viable population of the Bengal tiger in its natural habitats, protecting it from extinction, and preserving areas of biological importance as a natural heritage that represent the diversity of ecosystems across the tiger's range in the country. The project's task force visualised these tiger reserves as breeding nuclei, from which surplus animals would migrate to adjacent forests. Funds and commitment were mustered to support the intensive program of habitat protection and rehabilitation under the project. [1]

Contents

During the tiger census of 2006, a new methodology was used extrapolating site-specific densities of tigers, their co-predators and prey derived from camera trap and sign surveys using GIS. Based on the result of these surveys, the total tiger population was estimated at 1,411 individuals ranging from 1,165 to 1,657 adult and sub-adult tigers of more than 1.5 years of age. [2] It was claimed that owing to the project, the number of tigers increased to 2,603–3,346 individuals by 2018. [3] In a testimony to the success of Project Tiger, in 2022, 54th tiger reserve in India was declared in Ranipur Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh, being the State’s fourth tiger reserve. [4]

Objectives

Bengal tiger in Mudumalai National Park Tiger Yawning Mudumalai Mar21 DSC01305.jpg
Bengal tiger in Mudumalai National Park

Project Tiger's main aims are to:

The monitoring system M-STrIPES was developed to assist patrol and protect tiger habitats. It maps patrol routes and allows forest guards to enter sightings, events and changes when patrolling. It generates protocols based on these data, so that management decisions can be adapted. [5]

Management and population

State wise Bengal Tiger Population India, 2019 State wise Bengal Tiger Population India, 2019.jpg
State wise Bengal Tiger Population India, 2019

Project Tiger was administered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority. The overall administration of the project is monitored by a steering committee, which is headed by a director. A field director is appointed for each reserve, who is assisted by a group of field and technical personnel.

The various tiger reserves were created in the country based on the 'core-buffer' strategy:

The important thrust areas for the Plan period are:

For each tiger reserve, management plans were drawn up based on the following principles:

Tiger pug marks at Sunderbans Tiger Reserve, West Bengal Sunderbans 049.jpg
Tiger pug marks at Sunderbans Tiger Reserve, West Bengal

By the late 1980s, the initial nine reserves covering an area of 9,115 square kilometers (3,519 square miles) had been increased to 15 reserves covering an area of 24,700 km2 (9,500 sq mi). More than 1100 tigers were estimated to inhabit the reserves by 1984. [1] By 1997, 23 tiger reserves encompassed an area of 33,000 km2 (13,000 sq mi), but the fate of tiger habitat outside the reserves was precarious, due to pressure on habitat, incessant poaching and large-scale development projects such as dams, industry, and mines. [6]

Wireless communication systems and outstation patrol camps have been developed within the tiger reserves, due to which poaching has declined considerably. Fire protection is effectively done by suitable preventive and control measures. Voluntary Village relocation has been done in many reserves, especially from the core area. Livestock grazing has been controlled to a great extent in the tiger reserves. Various compensatory developmental works have improved the water regime and the ground and field level vegetation, thereby increasing the animal density. Research data about vegetation changes are also available from many reserves. Plans include the use of advanced information and communication technology in wildlife protection and crime management in tiger reserves, GIS-based digitized database development, and devising a new tiger habitat and population evaluation system.

Controversies and problems

Project Tiger's efforts were hampered by poaching, as well as debacles and irregularities in Sariska and Namdapha, both of which were reported extensively in the Indian media. [7] [8] [9] The Forest Rights Act passed by the Indian government in 2006 recognizes the rights of some forest dwelling communities in forest areas. This has led to controversy over implications of such recognition for tiger conservation. Some have argued that this is problematic as it will increase conflict and opportunities for poaching; some also assert that "tigers and humans cannot co-exist". [10] [11] Others argue that this is a limited perspective that overlooks the reality of human-tiger coexistence and the abuse of power by authorities, evicting local people and making them pariahs in their own traditional lands rather than allowing them a proper role in decision-making, in the tiger crisis. The latter position was supported by the Government of India's Tiger Task Force, and is also taken by some forest dwellers' organizations. [12] [13]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bengal tiger</span> Tiger population in Indian subcontinent

The Bengal tiger is a population of the Panthera tigris tigris subspecies. It ranks among the biggest wild cats alive today. It is considered to belong to the world's charismatic megafauna.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jim Corbett National Park</span> National park in India

Jim Corbett National Park is a national park in India located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand state. The first national park in India, it was established in 1936 during the British Raj and named Hailey National Park after William Malcolm Hailey, a governor of the United Provinces in which it was then located. In 1956, nearly a decade after India's independence, it was renamed Corbett National Park after the hunter and naturalist Jim Corbett, who had played a leading role in its establishment and had died the year before. The park was the first to come under the Project Tiger initiative.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sundarbans National Park</span> National park and nature reserve in West Bengal, India

The Sundarbans National Park is a national park, tiger reserve and biosphere reserve in West Bengal, India. It is part of the Sundarbans on the Ganges Delta and adjacent to the Sundarban Reserve Forest in Bangladesh. It is located to south-west of the Bangladesh. The delta is densely covered by mangrove forests, and is one of the largest reserves for the Bengal tiger. It is also home to a variety of bird, reptile and invertebrate species, including the salt-water crocodile. The present Sundarban National Park was declared as the core area of Sundarban Tiger Reserve in 1973 and a wildlife sanctuary in 1977. On 4 May 1984 it was declared a national park. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site inscribed in 1987, and it has been designated as a Ramsar site since 2019. It is considered as a World Network of Biosphere Reserve from 1989.

Ranthambore National Park is a national park in Rajasthan, India, with an area of 1,334 km2 (515 sq mi). It is bounded to the north by the Banas River and to the south by the Chambal River. It is named after the historic Ranthambore Fort, which lies within the park.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Anamalai Tiger Reserve</span> Wildlife sanctuary and national park in Tamil Nadu, India

Anaimalai Tiger Reserve, earlier known as Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park and as Anaimalai Wildlife Sanctuary, is a protected area in the Anaimalai Hills of Pollachi and Valparai taluks of Coimbatore District and Udumalaipettai taluk in Tiruppur District, Tamil Nadu, India. The Tamil Nadu Environment and Forests Department by a notification dated 27 June 2007, declared an extent of 958.59 km2 that encompassed the erstwhile IGWLS&NP or Anaimalai Wildlife Sanctuary, as Anaimalai Tiger Reserve under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. According to the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the Reserve presently includes a core area of 958.59 km2 and buffer/peripheral area of 521.28 km2 forming a total area of 1479.87 km2.

There are four categories of protected areas in India, constituted under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Tiger reserves consist of areas under national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. There are 52 tiger reserves in India. As of May 2012, the protected areas of India cover 156,700 square kilometres (60,500 sq mi), roughly 4.95% of the total surface area.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Panna National Park</span> National Park in India

Panna National Park is a national park located in Panna and Chhatarpur districts of Madhya Pradesh in India. It has an area of 542.67 km2 (209.53 sq mi). It was declared in 1994 as the twenty second Tiger reserve of India and the fifth in Madhya Pradesh, Panna was given the Award of Excellence in 2007 as the best maintained national park of India by the Ministry of Tourism of India. It is notable that by 2009, the entire tiger population had been eliminated by poaching with the collusion of forest department officials.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tigers in India</span>

Tiger is officially adopted as the National Animal of India on recommendation of the National Board for Wildlife since April 1972 and as of 2022, more than 70% of the global tiger population is found in the country. In popular local languages, tigers are called called baagh or sher. The Bengal Tiger is the species found all across the country. These can attain the largest body size among all the Felidae, and therefore are called Royal Bengal Tigers. Skin hides measuring up to 4 meter are recorded. The body length measured from its nose to the tip of the tail can reach up to 3 meter and it can weigh up to 280 Kilogram with male being heavier than the female. The average life expectancy is about 15 years in wild. It is solitary and territorial. Tigers in India usually hunts chital, sambar, barasingha, wild buffalo nilgai and gaur and other animals such as the wild pig for prey and sometimes even other predators like leopards and bears.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Indian leopard</span> Leopard subspecies

The Indian leopard is a leopard subspecies widely distributed on the Indian subcontinent. The species Panthera pardus is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because populations have declined following habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching for the illegal trade of skins and body parts, and persecution due to conflict situations. The Indian leopard is one of the big cats occurring on the Indian subcontinent, along with the Asiatic lion, Bengal tiger, snow leopard and clouded leopard. In 2014, a national census of leopards around tiger habitats was carried out in India except the northeast. 7,910 individuals were estimated in surveyed areas and a national total of 12,000–14,000 speculated.

India is home to a large variety of wildlife. It is a biodiversity hotspot with its various ecosystems ranging from the Himalayas in the north to the evergreen rain forests in the south, the sands of the west to the marshy mangroves of the east. India lies within the Indomalayan realm and is the home to about 7.6% of mammal, 14.7% of amphibian, 6% of bird, 6.2% of reptilian, and 6.0% of flowering plant species. India's forest lands nurture about 500 species of mammals and more than 2000 bird species.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pench Tiger Reserve</span>

Pench Tiger Reserve or Pench National Park is one of the premier tiger reserves of India and the first one to straddle across two states - Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The reference to Pench is mostly to the tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) was established in December 2005, following a recommendation of the Tiger Task Force, constituted by the Prime Minister of India for reorganised management of Project Tiger and the many Tiger Reserves in India.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pilibhit Tiger Reserve</span>

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is located in Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh and was notified as a tiger reserve in 2014. It forms part of the Terai Arc Landscape in the upper Gangetic Plain along the India-Nepal border. The habitat is characterized by sal forests, tall grasslands and swamp maintained by periodic flooding from rivers. The Sharda Sagar Dam extending up to a length of 22 km (14 mi) is on the boundary of the reserve.

The tiger reserves of India were set up in 1973 and are governed by Project Tiger, which is administrated by the National Tiger Conservation Authority. Until 2018, 50 protected areas have been designated tiger reserves. In 2022, 54th tiger reserve in India was declared in Ranipur Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh, and the State’s fourth tiger reserve.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary</span>

Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary and a proposed tiger reserve located in the Nuapada district of Odisha, adjoining Chhattisgarh. It has a total area of 600 km2 (230 sq mi). The sanctuary harbours a great diversity of wildlife habitats, with a vast plateau, multiple valleys, gorges and magnificent waterfalls. The sanctuary forms the catchment area of the Jonk River, over which a dam has been constructed to facilitate irrigation. The Indra nullah and Udanti River lies to the south of the sanctuary. The important vegetation of the site comprises dry deciduous tropical forest.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wildlife Protection Society of India</span>

The Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) was founded in 1994 by Belinda Wright, its Executive Director, who was an award-winning wildlife photographer and filmmaker till she took up the cause of conservation. From its inception, WPSI's main aim has been to bring a new focus to the daunting task of tackling India's growing wildlife crisis. It does this by providing support and information to government authorities to combat poaching and the escalating illegal wildlife trade - particularly in wild tigers. It has now broadened its focus to deal with human-animal conflicts and provide support for research projects.

This article is about the conservation in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh state of India.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wildlife SOS</span> Animal rescue organization in India

Wildlife SOS (WSOS) is a conservation non-profit in India, established in 1995 with the primary objective of rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife in distress, and preserving India's natural heritage. It is currently one of the largest wildlife organisations in South Asia.

M-STrIPES, short for Monitoring System for Tigers - Intensive Protection and Ecological Status, is a software-based monitoring system launched across Indian tiger reserves by the Indian government's National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in 2010. The system's objective is to strengthen patrolling and surveillance of the Endangered Bengal tiger. Forest guards in tiger reserves are equipped with personal digital assistants and GPS devices to capture data relating to tiger sightings, deaths, wild life crime and ecological observations while patrolling. The software system maps the patrol routes of forest guards, and the resulting data are then analyzed in a geographic information system. This is intended to enhance the effectiveness and spatial coverage of patrols. Additional target outcomes are the evaluation of human pressure and ongoing monitoring of habitat change.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wildlife Conservation Trust</span>

Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) is an Indian not-for-profit organisation based in Mumbai which was registered in 2002. WCT currently works in and around 160 protected areas across 23 states in India and works closely with government bodies, corporates, communities and local NGOs through funding and technical support, knowledge partnering and consultancy.

References

  1. 1 2 Panwar, H. S. (1987). "Project Tiger: The reserves, the tigers, and their future". In Tilson, R. L.; Sel, U. S. (eds.). Tigers of the world: the biology, biopolitics, management, and conservation of an endangered species. Park Ridge, N.J.: Minnesota Zoological Garden, IUCN/SSC Captive Breeding Group, IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group. pp. 110–117. ISBN   9780815511335.
  2. Jhala, Y. V.; Gopal, R. & Qureshi, Q. (2008). Status of the Tigers, Co-predators, and Prey in India (PDF). TR 08/001. National Tiger Conservation Authority, Govt. of India, New Delhi; Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 June 2013.
  3. Jhala, Y. V.; Qureshi, Q. & Nayak, A. K. (2020). Status of tigers, co-predators and prey in India 2018 (PDF) (Report). New Delhi, Dehradun: National Tiger Conservation Authority, Government of India, Wildlife Institute of India.
  4. "Uttar Pradesh gears up for its fourth tiger reserve in Chitrakoot". newsonair.com. 2022.
  5. ""MSTrIPES": Monitoring System for Tigers – Intensive Protection & Ecological Status" (PDF). National Tiger Conservation Authority, Wildlife Institute of India, Zoological Society of London. India Environment Portal. 2010.
  6. Thapar, V. (1999). The tragedy of the Indian tiger: starting from scratch. In: Seidensticker, J., Christie, S., Jackson, P. (eds.) Riding the Tiger. Tiger Conservation in human-dominated landscapes. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. hardback ISBN   0-521-64057-1, paperback ISBN   0-521-64835-1. pp. 296–306.
  7. Ajay Suri (13 June 2019) Rajasthan's Sariska may become tiger-less again. Firstpost
  8. Rahul Karmakar (24 February 2020) Highway threatens tiger territory in Arunachal Pradesh. The Hindu
  9. Northeast Now (12 March 2020) Namdapha National Park facing rampant deforestation.
  10. Buncombe, A. (31 October 2007) The face of a doomed species. The Independent
  11. Strahorn, Eric A. (1 January 2009). An Environmental History of Postcolonial North India: The Himalayan Tarai in Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal. Peter Lang. p. 118. ISBN   9781433105807.
  12. Government of India (2005) Tiger Task Force Report Archived 27 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine .
  13. Campaign for Survival and Dignity Tiger Conservation: A Disaster in the Making Archived 11 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine . forestrightsact.com