Tiger reserves of India

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Logo of National Tiger Conservation Authority National Tiger Conservation Authority logo.png
Logo of National Tiger Conservation Authority

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, there were 1,411 tigers which increased to 1,706 in 2010, 2,226 in 2014 and 2,967 in 2018. [2] The Indian increase 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]


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

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 49 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

State wise Bengal Tiger Population India, 2019 State wise Bengal Tiger Population India, 2019.jpg
State wise Bengal Tiger Population India, 2019
Si No.Tiger Reserve (Year of Creation)StatePopulation of tigers, 2014 [8]
1 Bandipur (1973–74) Karnataka 120
2 Corbett (1973–74) Uttarakhand 215
3 Kanha (1973–74) Madhya Pradesh 80
4 Manas (1973–74) Assam 11
5 Melghat (1973–74) Maharashtra 25
6 Palamau (1973–74) Jharkhand 3
7 Ranthambore (1973–74) Rajasthan 37
8 Similipal (1973–74) Odisha 3
9 Sunderbans (1973–74) West Bengal 68
10 Periyar (1978–79) Kerala 20
11 Sariska (1978–79)Rajasthan9
12 Buxa (1982–83)West Bengal2
13 Indravati (1982–83) Chhattisgarh 12
14 Namdapha (1982–83) Arunachal Pradesh 11
15 Dudhwa (1987–88) Uttar Pradesh 58
16 Kalakad-Mundanthurai (1988–89) Tamil Nadu 10
17 Valmiki (1989–90) Bihar 40
18 Pench (Madhya Pradesh)(1992–93)Madhya Pradesh43 (contiguous with Maharashtra)
19 Tadoba-Andhari (1993–94)Maharashtra115
20 Bandhavgarh (1993–94)Madhya Pradesh63
21 Panna (1994–95)Madhya Pradesh17
22 Dampa (1994–95) Mizoram 3
23 Bhadra (1998–99)Karnataka22
24 Pench (Maharashtra)(1998–99)Maharashtra35 (contiguous with Madhya Pradesh)
25 Pakke or Pakhui (1999–2000)Arunachal Pradesh7
26 Nameri (1999–2000)Assam5
27 Satpura (1999–2000)Madhya Pradesh26
28 Anamalai (2008–09)Tamil Nadu13
29 Udanti-Sitanadi (2008–09)Chhattisgarh4
30 Satkosia (2008–09)Odisha3
31 Kaziranga (2008–09)Assam103
32 Achanakmar (2008–09)Chhattisgarh11
33 Dandeli-Anshi Tiger Reserve(Kali) (2008–09)Karnataka5
34 Sanjay-Dubri (2008–09)Madhya Pradesh8
35 Mudumalai (2008–09)Tamil Nadu89
36 Nagarahole (2008–09)Karnataka101
37 Parambikulam (2008–09)Kerala19
38 Sahyadri (2009–10)Maharashtra7
39Biligiri Ranganatha Temple (2010–11)Karnataka68
40 Kawal (2012–13) Telangana -
41 Sathyamangalam (2013–14)Tamil Nadu72
42Mukandra Hills (2013–14)Rajasthan-
43 Nawegaon-Nagzira (2013–14)Maharashtra7
44 Nagarjunsagar Srisailam (1982–83) Andhra Pradesh 74
45Amrabad (2014)Telangana-
46 Pilibhit (2014)Uttar Pradesh65
47 Bor (2014)Maharashtra5
48 Rajaji (2015)Uttarakhand-
49 Orang (2016)Assam-
50 Kamlang (2016)Arunachal Pradesh-
51 Srivilliputhur - Megamalai (2021)Tamil Nadu14
52 Ramgarh Vishdhari (2021)Rajasthan35


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. [11]

Related Research Articles

Project Tiger Tiger conservation programme in India (1973-present)

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 Bengal tigers in their natural habitats, protecting them from extinction, and preserving areas of biological importance as a natural heritage forever represented as close as possible the diversity of ecosystems across the distribution of tigers in the country. The project's task force visualized 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. The government has set up a Tiger Protection Force to combat poachers and funded relocation of villagers to minimize human-tiger conflicts.

Bengal tiger Tiger population in Indian subcontinent

The Bengal tiger, also known as the Royal Bengal tiger, is a tiger from a specific population of the Panthera tigris tigris subspecies that is native to the Indian subcontinent. It is threatened by poaching, loss, and fragmentation of habitat, and was estimated at comprising fewer than 2,500 wild individuals by 2011. None of the Tiger Conservation Landscapes within its range is considered large enough to support an effective population of more than 250 adult individuals. India's tiger population was estimated at 2,603–3,346 individuals by 2018. Around 300–500 tigers are estimated in Bangladesh, 220–274 tigers in Nepal and 103 tigers in Bhutan.

West Champaran district District of Bihar in India

West Champaran is an administrative district in the state of Bihar in India, located just 60 km (37 mi) west of Birgunj. It is the largest district in bihar with an area of 5,228 km²(2,019sq mi). It is a part of Tirhut Division. The district headquarters are located in Bettiah. The district is known for its fluid border with Nepal. One of the major location in West Champaran is Kumar Bagh for SAIL Special Processing Unit and Bhitiharwa where Mahatma Gandhi started Satyagrah Aandolan.

Khathiar-Gir dry deciduous forests

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.

Mudumalai National Park National park in Tamil Nadu, India

Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, also a declared tiger reserve, lies in the northwestern side of the Nilgiri Hills in Nilgiri District, about 150 kilometres (93 mi) north-west of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, India. It shares boundaries with the states of Karnataka and Kerala. The sanctuary is divided into five ranges – Masinagudi, Thepakadu, Mudumalai, Kargudi and Nellakotta. It is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It is one of the premiere tiger reserves in India alongside Nagarhole National Park, Bandipur National Park and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.

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

Kuno is a National park in Madhya Pradesh, India. It was established, in 1981, as a wildlife sanctuary with an area of 344.686 km2 (133.084 sq mi) in the Sheopur and Morena districts. It was also known as Kuno-Palpur and Palpur-Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary. 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.

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.

National Tiger Conservation Authority

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

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 Tiger reserve in Arunachal Pradesh, India

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

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 the city of Mumbai. 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 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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  8. "Population of tigers" (PDF).
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  10. "Tiger Reserves". wii.gov.in. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  11. "In-principle approval given to 4 new tiger reserves: Government". Times of India. 2016.