Tiger reserves of India

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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. [1]


India is home to 80 percent of tigers in the world. In 2006, India estimated that there were 1,411 tigers which increased to 1,706 in 2010, 2,226 in 2014 and 2,967 in 2018. [2] The increase in population of tigers in India played a big role in driving up global populations as well; the number of wild tigers globally rose from 3,159 in 2010 to 3,890 in 2016 according to World Wildlife Fund and Global Tiger Forum. [3] However, a recent article by Gopalaswamy et al. in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, by citing several studies, has revealed that these claims of increasing tiger numbers are scientifically indefensible (https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2203244119).


71,027.1 km2 (27,423.7 sq mi) of declared reserves are operated by state forestry departments "to ensure maintenance of viable populations of the conservation dependent Bengal tigers in India". The tigers are maintained for their scientific, economic, aesthetic, cultural and ecological values and to preserve for all time areas of biological importance as a national heritage for the benefit, educational purposes." [4]

Population assessment

State wise Bengal tiger population India as of 2018 State wise Bengal Tiger Population India, 2019.jpg
State wise Bengal tiger population India as of 2018

By the year 2018, according to the National Tiger Conservation Authority, there were estimated only 2,967 tigers in existence in India. [5] The 2010 National Tiger Assessment estimated the total population of tigers in India at 1,706. As per Ministry of Environment and Forests, the tiger population in India stood at 2,226 in 2014 with an increase of 30.5% since the 2010 estimate. This exhaustive study indicated that better protected tiger source sites, especially tiger reserves, have maintained viable populations. However, the area occupied by tigers outside protected areas has decreased considerably. This demonstrates the need for corridors in order for tigers to move between source sites. The existing tiger reserves represent around one-third of India's high density forest area. [6] More tigers were killed in the first quarter of 2016 than in the entire previous year. This significant revelation comes at a time when the tiger census numbers are disputed by the scientific community.

In 2010–11, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in partnership with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) undertook an independent management effectiveness evaluation (MEE) of the 53 tiger reserves in the country. The reserves were categorized into four major categories. Madhya pradesh has the highest number of tigers(526) in the age group of 1.5 years with more than 408 big cats. Other states with significant populations included Uttarakhand (442), Karnataka (524), Tamil Nadu (229), Maharashtra (190), Assam (167), Kerala (136) and Uttar Pradesh (117). [7]

List of tiger reserves

Si No.Tiger ReserveYear of creationStatePopulation of tigers, 2018 [1] Area (sq kms)
1 Bandipur 1973–74Karnataka120868.63
2 Corbett 1973–74Uttarakhand2161318.54
3 Kanha 1973–74Madhya Pradesh80940
4 Manas 1973–74Assam11500
5 Melghat 1973–74Maharashtra251677
6 Palamau 1973–74Jharkhand3414.93
7 Ranthambore 1973–74Rajasthan371334
8 Similipal 1973–74Odisha992750
9 Sunderbans 1973–74West Bengal681330.10
10 Periyar 1978–79Kerala20350
11 Sariska 1978–79Rajasthan9881
12 Buxa 1982–83West Bengal2760
13 Indravati 1982–83Chhattisgarh121258.37
14 Namdapha 1982–83Arunachal Pradesh111985.23
15 Dudhwa 1987–88Uttar Pradesh58490.3
16 Kalakad-Mundanthurai 1988–89Tamil Nadu10895
17 Valmiki 1989–90Bihar40898.45
18 Pench 1992–93Madhya Pradesh43 (contiguous with Maharashtra)292.85
19 Tadoba-Andhari 1993–94)Maharashtra115625.4
20 Bandhavgarh 1993–94Madhya Pradesh631536
21 Panna 1994–95Madhya Pradesh17542.67
22 Dampa 1994–95 Mizoram 0500
23 Bhadra 1998–99Karnataka22892.46
24 Pench 1998–99Maharashtra35 (contiguous with Madhya Pradesh)257.26
25 Pakke 1999–2000Arunachal Pradesh7861.95
26 Nameri 1999–2000Assam5200
27 Satpura 1999–2000Madhya Pradesh26524
28 Anamalai 2008–09Tamil Nadu13958
29 Sitanadi 2008–09Chhattisgarh4556
30 Satkosia 2008–09Odisha3796
31 Kaziranga 2008–09Assam103858.98
32 Achanakmar 2008–09Chhattisgarh11557.55
33 Dandeli-Anshi Tiger Reserve 2008–09Karnataka51300
34 Sanjay 2008–09Madhya Pradesh8466.68
35 Mudumalai 2007Tamil Nadu103321
36 Nagarhole 2008–09Karnataka101642.39
37 Parambikulam 2008–09Kerala19643.66
38 Sahyadri 2009–10Maharashtra71166
39Biligiri Ranganatha Temple2010–11Karnataka68539.52
40 Kawal 2012–13Telangana2015.44
41 Sathyamangalam 2013–14Tamil Nadu721408.6
42Mukandra Hills2013–14Rajasthan759.99
43 Nawegaon 2013–14Maharashtra7133.88
44 Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam 1982–83Andhra Pradesh743728
46 Pilibhit 2014Uttar Pradesh65602.79
47 Bor 2014Maharashtra5121.1
48 Rajaji 2015Uttarakhand820.5
49 Orang 2016Assam78.81
50 Kamlang 2016Arunachal Pradesh783
51 Srivilliputhur – Megamalai 2021Tamil Nadu141016.57
52Ramgarh Vishdhari2021Rajasthan351501.89
53 Guru Ghasidas National Park and
Tamor Pingla Wildlife Sanctuary
2021Chhattisgarh1440 & 608.5


In addition to existing reserves, the in-principle approval has been accorded by the National Tiger Conservation Authority for the creation of two new tiger reserves, namely Ratapani Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh and Sunabeda Tiger Reserve in Odisha. Final approval has been accorded to Kudremukh National Park to be declared as a tiger reserve. The State Governments have been advised to send proposals for declaring the following areas as tiger reserves: Suhelva Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh, Mhadei Sanctuary in Goa, Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh and Cauvery-MM Hills in Karnataka. [10]

Related Research Articles

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. 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. It was claimed that owing to the project, the number of tigers increased to 2,603–3,346 individuals by 2018.

<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.

Khathiar–Gir dry deciduous forests Ecoregion in India

The Khathiar–Gir dry deciduous forests is a mostly arid ecoregion in northwestern India that stretches over 103,100 sq mi (267,000 km2) across Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The dry deciduous forests in the region are dominated by teak, and thorny trees and scrub in drier areas.

Anamalai Tiger Reserve 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.

Valmiki National Park National park and wildlife sanctuary in Bihar, India

Valmiki National Park is a Tiger Reserve in the West Champaran District of Bihar, India. It is the only national park in Bihar. Valmiki Tiger Reserve covers 898.45 km2 (346.89 sq mi), which is 17.4% of the total geographical area of the district. As of 2018, there were 40 tigers in the Reserve.

Vansda National Park National park in Gujarat, India

Vansda National Park, also known as Bansda National Park, is a protected area which represents the thick woodlands of the Dangs and southern Gujarat, and is situated in the Vansda tehsil, Navsari District of Gujarat state, India. Riding on the banks of Ambika River and measuring roughly 24 km2 in area, the park lies about 65 km east of the town of Chikhali on the National Highway 8, and about 80 km northeast of the city of Valsad. Vansda, the town from which the name of the park is derived, is an important trading place for the surrounding area where the majority of the population is represented by adivasis. Vansda-Waghai state highway runs through the park, so does the narrow gauge rail link connecting Ahwa to Billimora.

Kuno National Park is a national park in Madhya Pradesh, India, established in 1981 as a wildlife sanctuary with an area of 344.686 km2 (133.084 sq mi) in the Sheopur and Morena districts. In 2018, it was given the status of a national park. It is part of the Khathiar-Gir dry deciduous forests ecoregion.

Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project

The Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project is an initiative of the Indian Government to provide safeguards to the Asiatic lion from extinction in the wild by means of reintroduction. The last wild population of the Asiatic lion is found in the region of Gir Forest National Park, in the state of Gujarat. The single population faces the threats of epidemics, natural disasters and other anthropogenic factors. The project aims to establish a second independent population of Asiatic lions at the Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. However, the proposed translocation has been bitterly contested by the state government.

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.

Dampa Tiger Reserve Tiger reserve in Mizoram, India

Dampa Tiger Reserve or Dampha Tiger Reserve is a tiger reserve of western Mizoram, India. It covers an area of about 500 km2 (190 sq mi) in the Lushai Hills at an altitude range of 800–1,100 m (2,600–3,600 ft). It was declared a tiger reserve in 1994 and is part of Project Tiger.

Pench Tiger Reserve

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.

Dudhwa Tiger Reserve

The Dudhwa Tiger Reserve is a protected area in Uttar Pradesh that stretches mainly across the Lakhimpur Kheri and Bahraich districts and comprises the Dudhwa National Park, Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary and Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary. It covers an area of 1,284.3 km2 (495.9 sq mi) and includes three large forest fragments amidst the matrix dominated by agriculture. It shares the north-eastern boundary with Nepal, which is defined to a large extent by the Mohana River. The area is a vast alluvial floodplain traversed by numerous rivers and streams flowing in south-easterly direction. It ranges in altitude from 110 to 185 m.

Ratapani Tiger Reserve Tiger reserve in India

The Ratapani Tiger Reserve, located in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh, in Vindhya Range in central India, is one of the finest teak forests in the state and is less than 50 kilometres (31 mi) away from the capital Bhopal.

Pakke Tiger Reserve, also known as Pakhui Tiger Reserve, is a Project Tiger reserve in the Pakke Kessang district of Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India. The 862 km2 (333 sq mi) reserve is protected by the Department of Environment and Forest of Arunachal Pradesh. In a notification (CWL/D/26/94/1393-1492) dated Itanagar 19 April 2001, issued by the Principal Secretary, the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh renamed Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary as Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary Division.

Gulf of Khambhat Shallow gulf near Gujarat, India

The Gulf of Khambhat, historically known as the Gulf of Cambay, is a bay on the Arabian Sea coast of India, bordering the state of Gujarat just north of Mumbai and Diu Island. The Gulf of Khambhat is about 200 km (120 mi) long, about 20 km (12 mi) wide in the north and up to 70 km (43 mi) wide in the south. Major rivers draining Gujarat are the Narmada, Tapti, Mahi and the Sabarmati, that form estuaries in the gulf.

Crocodilia share an ancient relation with India. They are depicted along with many Hindu gods and goddesses in sculpture and painting. In the pre-historic period, seven species resided in India. The number has decreased to three primary species. The mugger crocodile is found in lakes and rivers throughout the country. The saltwater crocodile is found along the eastern coast of the country and the Nicobar and Andaman Islands. The gharial is found in river areas, though is greatly reduced from its previous range.

Purna Wildlife Sanctuary Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat, India

Purna Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary in the Western Ghats mountain range, in the States of Gujarat and Maharashtra, India. In the South Gujarat, it is located between Vyara, Tapi District and Ahwa, Dang District, and in Maharashtra, it is located in Nandurbar District. Apart from the Dangs' District, it is a part of the Northern Division of the Dangs' Forest.

Yadvendradev Vikramsinh Jhala Indian scientist and conservationist

Yadvendradev Vikramsinh Jhala, popularly addressed by his family name Jhala, is an Indian scientist and conservationist. He is the current dean and a senior professor at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. Over the past three decades, he has studied animals in tropical forest and arid ecosystems and trained a multitude of wildlife professionals across the world.


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  2. "India's tiger population sees 33% increase". BBC. 2019.
  3. "2967 – What the new global Tiger number means". WWF. 2016.
  4. "Project Tiger" (PDF). Delhi: Government of India. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  5. Y.V. Jhala; R. Gopal; Q. Qureshi, eds. (2008). Status of the Tigers, Co-predators and Prey in India (PDF) (Report). National Tiger Conservation Authority, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. TR 08/001. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-06-02.
  6. "Tiger Estimate in India" (PDF). Public Information Brochure. New Delhi: Ministry of Environment and Forests, GOI. 28 March 2011. p. 9. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  7. "India's tiger population rises". Deccan Chronicle. 15 January 2015.
  8. "National Tiger Conservation Authority". ntca.gov.in. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  9. "Tiger Reserves". Wildlife Institute of India. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  10. "In-principle approval given to 4 new tiger reserves: Government". Times of India. 2016.