July 11, 2020
The Guinness World Records lauded the survey for placing camera traps in 26,838 locations across 141 sites, surveying an effective area of 121,337 square km
The All India Tiger Estimation, done quadrennially, is steered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority and implemented by State Forest Departments and partners
Protected wildlife areas in India rose from 692 in 2014 to 860 in 2019, while “community reserves” grew from 43 in 2014, to more than 100 currently
Additionally, in June 2020, the Gujarat Forest Department recorded 674 Asiatic lions in the region, marking a 29% increase in the population since 2015
The fourth cycle of the All India Tiger Estimation 2018 has entered the Guinness World Records for being the world’s largest camera trap wildlife survey. The results of the estimation were declared to the nation on International Tiger Day (July 29) 2019 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The citation at the Guinness World Record website lauded the survey for placing camera traps in 26,838 locations across 141 different sites, surveying an effective area of 121,337 square kilometres. In addition, extensive foot surveys were conducted, taking the total forest area studied to an estimated 381,200 square kilometres.
The All India Tiger Estimation done quadrennially is steered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority with technical backstopping from the Wildlife Institute of India and implemented by State Forest Departments and partners. The Government of India has undertaken initiatives such as Project Tiger to check the dwindling tiger population across the country. This project is sponsored by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and covers around 47 tiger reserves in more than 17 regions.
The estimation showed a 110 per cent jump in the nation’s tiger population to 2,967 in 2018, from 1411 in 2006. With this feat, India has achieved its commitment to the St Petersburg Declaration, of doubling the tiger population much in advance to the 2022 deadline.
This was achieved with concerted efforts to preserve the nation’s wildlife riches by balancing conservation with human development. As a result, while in 2014 there were 692 protected wildlife areas, in 2019 that rose to 860. Simultaneously, the number of “community reserves” has also grown from 43 in 2014, to more than 100 currently.
The positive effects of this have been seen with other big cats as well. In June this year, the Gujarat Forest Department recorded a total of 674 Asiatic lions in the region, marking a 29 per cent increase in the population since its 2015 count. The distribution of the lions within the Saurashtra region has also increased by 36 per cent to 30,000 square kilometres. These spikes in big cat populations will help preserve India’s wildlife ecosystem, besides boosting tourism.