Published on: April 12, 2023
Why in news? Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the figures of the 5th cycle of India’s Tiger Census revealing that tiger numbers have once again increased in the country and now stands at 3,167 in the wild as of 2022.
- Tiger Census report was released the while inaugurating the International Big Cat Alliance in Karnataka’s Mysuru, the first of its kind in the country, organised to mark 50 years of Project Tiger.
The estimation was done in five landscapes
- Shivalik-Gangetic plains,
- Central India and Eastern Ghats
- Western Ghats
- North Eastern Hills and Brahmaputra Flood Plains,
- The Sundarban
- The tiger population has grown the most in the Shivalik hills and the Gangetic flood plains, followed by central India, the northeastern hills, the Brahmaputra flood plains, and the Sundarbans.
- The only landscape in India where the tiger population has gone down is Western Ghats.
- Tiger populations have also declined in the central Indian states of Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, even though tigers have been spotted for the first time in Himachal Pradesh and in new areas in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
- The report identified Himachal, Suhelwa in Uttar Pradesh and Valmiki in Bihar as new potential tiger areas
- Local tiger population has become extinct in Sri Venkateswara National Park and tiger reserves in Kawal, Satkosia and Sahyadri.
- Report has flagged habitat loss, fragmentation, poaching, illegal wildlife trade, human-animal conflict and proliferation of invasive species as areas of major concern and called for mitigatory measures like habitat restoration.
Tiger population in Karnataka
- The Nilgiri cluster is home to the world’s largest tiger population but the recent data has shown a decrease in tiger occupancy throughout the Western Ghats, from Nagarahole to BRT Hills except in a few areas like Kali (Anshi Dandeli).
- Within Karnataka, the decline in tiger occupancy has been observed in BRT Hills and the border region of Goa and Karnataka.
- In addition, there was a significant decline in tiger occupancy in the Mookambika-Sharavathi-Sirsi landscape within the State.