inbrieflife | Wildlife | VOL. 11, ISSUE 67, July - August 2011

Tiger Census

The All India Tiger Estimation or the ‘tiger census’ is a crucial part of the national tiger conservation programme and the latest census pegs the country’s tiger population at 1706 – an increase from the 2006 count of 1411 tigers. Several innovative techniques were introduced in the exercise carried out between December 2009 and 2010. These included partnerships with civil society organisations, technical expertise from Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, involvement of local communities in data collection and analysis, genetic analysis to estimate tiger populations from faecal samples, study of satellite data to analyse the habitat and use of camera traps to identify individual animals. In 1973, the Government of India launched ‘Project Tiger’ in 9 reserves covering an area of about 14,000 sq km. Today, the Project includes 40 tiger reserves encompassing an area of around 46,388.22 sq km. Further, in-principle approval has been given for creation of six new tiger reserves. Considering the encouraging results of the tiger census and the expanding area of Project Tiger, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 11 August 2011 approved a revision of the central assistance for the Project from Rs 650 crore to 1216.86 crore. The implementation of the scheme would be done through the respective states in designated tiger reserves.

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