Table of Contents
- Since the early 1900s, the global population of tigers fell from around 100,000 to fewer than 4,000.
- Indian tiger numbers had hit an all-time low of 1,411 in 2006.
- 2006 census concluded that all the tigers from the Sariska reserve in Rajasthan had disappeared.
- Serious conservation efforts after 2006 reduced poaching and led to steady increase in tiger population.
- Global Tiger Recovery Program aims of doubling the global tiger population by 2022.
Tiger Census Report
- Tiger Census Report is a four-yearly report.
- The census is carried out by Wildlife Institute of India (WII – funded by MoEF) and NTCA.
Wildlife Institute of India (WII)
- Established in 1982 in Dehradun.
- Autonomous institution under the MoEFCC.
- Offers training program, academic courses and advisory in wildlife research and management.
- Double sampling based on ground-based surveys and actual images captured on camera-traps.
- Double sampling method was introduced in 2006 after the “pugmark” surveys were found to be inaccurate.
- In 2018 census, 83% of the big cats censused were individually photographed using camera traps.
- In Phases 1 & 2, ground-based surveys were carried out by Forest Department officials to collect signs of tiger presence like scat and pugmarks.
- In phase 3, the information was plotted on the forest map prepared with remote-sensing and GIS (MSTrIPES).
- In the last phase, data were extrapolated to areas where cameras could not be deployed.
MSTrIPES – Technology in wildlife protection
- MSTrIPES: Monitoring system for Tigers – Intensive Protection and Ecological Status.
- It was launched across Indian tiger reserves by NTCA and WII in 2010.
- MSTrIPES is a software-based monitoring system, designed to assist wildlife protection.
- The system consists of two components:
- field based protocols for patrolling, law enforcement, recording wildlife crimes and ecological monitoring,
- a customized GIS software for storage, retrieval, analysis and reporting.
- Under MSTrIPES, forest guards are expected to record their tracks using a GPS, in addition to recording observations in site-specific data sheets.
- For 2018 census ground staff involved in the count used the MSTrIPES app.
- The app records the staff’s path and helps upload geo-tagged pictures into the central GIS database.
Advantage of MSTrIPES
- GPS-based patrolling helps in mapping patrol routes and maintaining a spatial database of patrol tracks.
- Patrol maps help the management analyse trends and patterns to improve future protection efforts.
- MSTrIPES will help identify shortcomings in patrolling efforts in real time.
- It acts as a proof of presence and patrolling of forest guards in a particular area.
2018 Tiger Census Report
- 2018 census is the fourth cycle of the tiger census based on double sampling.
- The first was conducted in 2006, second in 2010 and third in 2014.
- India’s five tiger landscapes are: Shivalik Hills and Gangetic Plains, Central Indian Landscape and Eastern Ghats, Western Ghats, North-East Hills and Brahmaputra Plains, and the Sundarbans.
Tiger population growth in India
Shivalik Gangetic Plain
Central Indian Landscape and Eastern Ghats
Andhra Pradesh & Telangana
48 & 26
Northern West Bengal
Important Observations from 2018 tiger census
- Madhya Pradesh (526) has the highest tiger population.
- Karnataka (524) has the second highest tiger population.
- Uttarakhand (442) has the third highest tiger population.
- Among the NE states, Assam (190) has the highest tiger population.
- Tiger population fell in Chhattisgarh and Mizoram.
- There is no change in tiger population in Odisha.
Tiger Population (2014 Census)
|1. Western Ghats|
|2. Central Indian Landscape and Eastern Ghats|
|3. Shivalik Gangetic Plain|
Tiger Population (2018 Census)
|1. Central Indian Landscape and Eastern Ghats|
|2. Western Ghats|
|3. Shivalik Gangetic Plain|
Other Important observations from All India Tiger Estimation Report 2018
- India is home to almost 70 % of the world tiger population.
- The country has 2,967 tigers, a rise of 33% over the figure found in the previous census of 2014 (2,226).
- This is by far the biggest increase in terms of both numbers and percentage since the capture-mark-recapture method began in 2006.
- The number that year was 1,411; it rose by 295 (21%) to 1,706 in 2010; and by 520 (30%) to 2,226 in 2014.
- The biggest increase has been in Madhya Pradesh — a massive 218 individuals (71%).
- In Maharashtra, the number has gone up from 190 to 312 (64%).
- Uttarakhand has gained over 100 tigers (340 to 442; 30%).
- Chhattisgarh and Mizoram saw a decline in tiger population.
- Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of tigers.
- Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu registered the “maximum improvement” since 2014.
- In Buxa, Dampa and Palamau, which are tiger reserves, no trace of the animal was found.
- The report does not contain numbers of other predators like leopards.
Measures that led to the increase in tiger population
- Many states deployed special tiger forces to combat organized poachers.
- Relocation of villages away from tiger reserves: ₹10 lakh was provided per family that moved out of critical habitat.
- From 28 in 2006, the number of tiger reserves went up to 50 in 2018.
- The fast reducing forest cover still presents a threat to the wild cat.
- Under the current green cover, habitats reach tiger-saturation points far too early.
Forests with potential of increasing tiger population
- Sanjay and Guru Ghasidas forests on the border of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh,
- Kawal and Srirailam forests in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana,
- Simlipal and Satkosia tiger reserves in Odisha,
- Manas reserve in Assam,
- Buxa reserve in West Bengal,
- Palamau reserve in Jharkhand and
- Achanakmar and Indravati tiger reserves in Chhattisgarh.