The tiger reserves of India were set up in 1973 and are governed under Project Tiger, which is administered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, Government of India. Tiger reserves were designated in 50 protected areas until 2018.In 2022, the 53rd tiger reserve was declared in Ranipur Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh, and the State's third tiger reserve.
India is home to 80 percent of tigers in the world. In 2006, India estimated that there were 1,411 tigers, which more than doubled to a population 3,167 tigers in 2022.
The increase in population of tigers in India played a major 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.
State forestry departments operate 71,027.1 km2 (27,423.7 sq mi) of declared reserves "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."
By the year 2018, according to the National Tiger Conservation Authority, there were estimated only 2,967 tigers in existence in India.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. 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 include Karnataka (524), Uttarakhand (442), Tamil Nadu (229), Maharashtra (190), Assam (167), Kerala (136) and Uttar Pradesh (117).
|Si No.||Tiger Reserve||Year of creation||State||Population of tigers, 2018||Population of tigers, 2023||Area Core (km2)||Area buffer (km2)|
|18||Pench||1992–93||Madhya Pradesh||43 (contiguous with Maharashtra)||77 (contiguous with Maharashtra)||292.85|
|24||Pench||1998–99||Maharashtra||35 (contiguous with Madhya Pradesh)||48 (contiguous with Madhya Pradesh)||257.26|
|33||Dandeli-Anshi Tiger Reserve||2008–09||Karnataka||5||17||1300|
|39||Biligiri Ranganatha Temple||2010–11||Karnataka||68||37||539.52|
|51||Srivilliputhur – Megamalai||2021||Tamil Nadu||14||12||641.86||374.7|
|53||Ranipur Wildlife Sanctuary||2022||Uttar Pradesh|
|54||Veerangana Durgavati Tiger Reserve||2023||Madhya Pradesh||1414.006|
Project Tiger is a wildlife conservation movement initiated in India in 1973 to protect the Bengal tiger.
The Bengal tiger is a population of the Panthera tigris tigris subspecies and the nominate tiger subspecies. It ranks among the biggest wild cats alive today. It is considered to belong to the world's charismatic megafauna.
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 open 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.
Dang is a district in the southeastern part of the state of Gujarat in western India. The administrative headquarters of the district are located in Ahwa. Dang has an area of 1,764 km2 and a population of 228,291. As of 2011, it is the least populous district of Gujarat. As per the Planning Commission, Dang is one of the most economically distressed district out of 640 districts in India. 94% of the population belongs to one of the scheduled tribes. The five Kings of Dangs are the only hereditary royals in India whose titles are currently recognized by the government owing to an agreement between the Government of India and the Dang kings in 1842.
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 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 2022, there were 54 tigers in the Reserve.
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 48, 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 Waghai to Billimora.
Tigers in India constitute more than 70% of the global population of tigers. Tiger is officially adopted as the National Animal of India on recommendation of the National Board for Wildlife since April 1972. In popular local languages, tigers are called baagh, puli or sher. The Bengal Tiger is the species found all across the country except Thar desert region, Punjab and Kutch region. These can attain the largest body size among all the Felidae, and therefore are called Royal Bengal Tigers. Skin hides measuring up to 4 meters 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. However, they are known to survive for up to 20 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. There are instances of Elephant calves hunted by tigers.
India is home to a large variety of wildlife. It is a biodiversity hotspot with 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 6.2% of flowering plant species. India's forests contain about 500 species of mammals and more than 1300 bird species.
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.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) was established in December 2005, following a recommendation of the Tiger Task Force. The Prime Minister of India established it to reorganise the management of Project Tiger and many Tiger Reserves in India.
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). Three large forested areas are extant within the reserve, although most of the surrounding landscape is agricultural. It shares the north-eastern boundary with Nepal, which is defined to a large extent by the Mohana River. It ranges in altitude from 110 to 185 m, and several streams flow through the reserve from the northwest across the alluvial plain that encompasses the reserve.
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.
Pakke Tiger Reserve, is a Project Tiger reserve in the East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India. The 862 km2 (333 sq mi) reserve is protected by the Department of Environment and Forest of Arunachal Pradesh. It was known as Pakhui Tiger Reserve, but renamed in April 2001 by the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh. It has won India Biodiversity Award 2016 in the category of 'Conservation of threatened species' for its Hornbill Nest Adoption Programme.
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.
Three species of crocodilian are present in India. 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. In the pre-historic period, seven species resided in 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 is an Indian scientist and conservationist who recently ended his tenure as the Dean at the Wildlife Institute of India in Dehradun.
Srivilliputhur-Megamalai Tiger Reserve is India's 51st tiger reserve and 5th tiger reserve of Tamil Nadu. It was formed by combining Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary and Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary. On 8 February 2021, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change gave notification of this new tiger reserve. On 6 April 2021, the Government of Tamil Nadu and forest department approved the creation of a new tiger reserve in Tamil Nadu and on 11 April 2021 a new tiger reserve was formed.