Tiger numbers recovering in India

The wild tiger population in India has increased, according to new figures released by the country’s government

The wild tiger population in India has increased, according to new figures released by the country’s government. Published on 28 March 2011, the statistics have been received by conservation group WWF as “encouraging news,” for a species now listed among the planet’s most threatened.

In the largest tiger population survey ever undertaken, the findings show that an estimated 3,200 tigers now remain in the wild, with half of these living in India – 1,636, according to the new figures. This is a net rise of 225 tigers since the previous survey in India in 2007.

The newly-released population figures marked the opening of the International Tiger Conservation Conference, a three-day meeting following the launch of the Global Tiger Recovery Programme in November 2010. With tigers having lost more than 97% of their population and 94% of their home range in just 100 years, the programme is a “groundbreaking effort,” said WWF, to bring the species back from the brink of extinction.

The data from the Indian survey was broken down by site, with some populations showing increases and others falling. Several areas in the country, including those that are not tiger reserves and outside national parks, were intensively surveyed for the first time.

“As seen from the results, recovery requires strong protection of core tiger sites and areas that link them, as well as effective management in the surrounding areas,” said Mike Baltzer, head of WWF’s Tigers Alive Initiative. “With these two vital conservation ingredients, we can not only halt their decline, but ensure tigers make a strong and lasting comeback.”

WWF International director general, Jim Leape, added: 

”These numbers give us hope for the future of tigers in the wild, and that India continues to play an integral role in the tiger’s recovery.”

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