• India's Tiger Census-2018 has recorded its name in the 'Guinness Book of World Record' for its world's largest camera trapping wildlife survey. 
  • As per the commitment made by India to double its tiger populations by 2022 at St. Petersburg Tiger Summit -2010. 
  • India has successfully fulfilled its commitment to double the number of tigers much before the target year of 2022.
  • The Tiger population in India rose to 2976 in 2020 from 1500 in 2010.

St. Petersburg Tiger Summit-2010 :

  • The world's first-ever 'Global Tiger Summit' to save the tigers from extinction was organized at St. Petersburg- Russia in November 2010. 
  • This summit was participated by thirteen tiger habitat countries i.e. India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Russia, who was also a host of the said event.
  • Besides these participating nations, various international organizations & stakeholders on tigers also participated.
  • They together endorsed a plan called 'Global Tiger Recovery Programme' to double the number of tiger population by the year 2022.

Tiger Census-2018 :

  • This was the fourth cycle of the Tiger Census 2018 conducted in 2018-19.
  • India is recorded to have 2976 tigers which are almost 75% of the world's tiger population.
  • National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is doing this census every four years with the assistance of Wildlife Institute of India & cooperation with the respective State forest department.

The process adopted for the census :

  • Camera traps were plotted at various locations & eventually surveyed an area of 121,337 sq km. 
  • Camera traps are outdoor recording devices which automatically record the movement when an animal passes by the camera.
  • Foot surveys are done to know about habitat plots for vegetation & about its prey.
  • Out of all the pics that are taken, 83% of the population was identified by the stripe-pattern recognition software (M-STriPES) which identifies the tigers based on their different pattern of stripes.

Project Tiger :

  • Project Tiger was launched in 1973 with initially 9 tiger reserves to conserve the tigers.
  • This scheme is still operational under the Ministry of Science, Forest & Climate Change & sponsored by the union government.
  • Currently, Project Tiger has 50  tiger reserves in 18 states amounting to 2.21% of the geographical area of India.

About Tiger Reserves :

  • Tiger reserves are having a core area with a legal provision of a national park or sanctuary.
  • Its buffer area is a mix of forest & non-forest land & used as a multiple-use area.

National Tiger Conservation Authority :

  • NTCA was constituted in 2005 after the recommendation of the 'Tiger Task Force'.
  • NTCA is a statutory body of the ministry with supervisory & coordination capacity as mandated in the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.


  • Monitoring System for Tiger Intensive Protection & Ecological Status (M-STriPES) is app-based monitoring software.
  • It was introduced by NTCA in 2010 across all the tiger reserves of India.

Ecological Importance Of Tiger:

  • Tiger is the apex consumer in the ecological food pyramid, thus their conservation results in conservation of all trophic levels in the food pyramid.

Threats to Tigers: 

  • Destruction & fragmentation of the habitat.
  • Poaching.

Protection Status :

  • Wildlife Protection Act 1972, Schedule-1.
  • International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) -Red List (endangered)
  • Convention on International Trade In Endangered Species of Wildlife Fauna & Flora (CITES) - Appendix-1

About Tiger :

  • Scientific Name - Panthera Tigris
  • Indian Sub-species - Panthera Tigris Tigris
  • Tiger is the largest Cat species & a member of the Genus Panthera.
  • Its normal habitat is from Siberian temperate forests to sub-tropical & tropical forest of the Indian subcontinent & up to parts of Indonesia.
  • There are eight sub-species of Tiger :
  • Bengal Tiger - India
  • Amur Tiger - Russia, China, North Korea
  • Javan tiger (extinct) - Java -Indonesia
  • Caspian tiger (extinct)- Turkey (Central & West Asia)
  • Bali Tiger (extinct) - Bali -Indonesia
  • South China tiger- South-Central China
  • Sumatran Tiger- Sumatra-Indonesia 
  • Indo-Chinese tiger - Southeast Asia
  • Bengal Tiger is designated as the National Animal of India having dark vertical stripes on orange-brown fur.
  • Largest Tiger reserve of India - Nagarjuna Sagar-Srisailam tiger reserve (Andhra Pradesh)
  • Smallest Tiger reserve of India - Orang national park-Assam
  • Total Tiger reserves in India- 50

MCQs :

1) State the reason/s for which Tiger Census-2018 is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. 

a) for its world's largest camera trapping wildlife survey. 

b) for doubling the tiger population in India before the set target of 2022.

c) for its stripes pattern recognition software.

d) for its active participation in various tiger summits.

Answer: Option-a

2) If a goat is placed under schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, it means 

a) Rat & goat can't be placed in schedule 1 of WPA 1972.

b) It will have the same protection as available to the tiger.

c) The goat should always be placed in IUCN lists. 

d) Goat is a pet animal so it can't be placed in the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.

Answer: Option -b

Mains Questions

1) Critically examine the various steps taken by the Indian Government & its neighboring countries to preserve the tigers from extinction. State the reasons why India is successful in doubling the tiger population before the set target of 2022.

2) What will be the consequences & after effect to our ecological system if all the tiger population get extinct in India? How it will affect the economic condition of India?

Happy Studies!

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