Tiger Conservation - Daily Current Affair Article for UPSC, IAS, Civil Services and State PCS Examinations


Tiger Conservation - Daily Current Affair Article for UPSC, IAS, Civil Services and State PCS Examinations


Context:-

Wayanad wildlife sanctuary ,though home to more than half the numbers of tigers present in Kerala ,may not be notified as tiger reserve due to proposal lacks public support

Steps for Tiger conservation

Project Tiger:-

It is estimated that India had about 40000 tigers in 1900 and the number declined to a mere about 1800 in 1972 . Hence Project Tiger was launched by central Government with following objective

  1. To ensure maintenance of available population of tigers in India for scientific, economic, aesthetic, cultural and economical values
  2. To preserve for all the time ,the areas of such biological importance as a national heritage for the benefit, education and enjoyment of people.

Tiger Reserve:-

  • Tiger reserves are the areas that are notified for the protection of the tiger and its prey, and are governed by “Project Tiger”.
  • Initially 9 tiger reserves were covered under the project, and has currently increased to 50.
  • The state government shall ,on recommendation of National Tiger Conservation Authority notify an area as tiger reserve.

A Tiger reserve includes :

Core Zone:-

  • Critical Tiger habitat areas established ,on the basis of scientific and objective criteria.
  • These areas are notified by the state government in consultation with an expert committee.

Buffer Zone:-

  • It is peripheral areas to critical tiger habitat or core area, where a lesser degree of habitat protection is required to ensure the integrity of critical tiger habitat with adequate dispersal of tiger species .
  • It aims at promoting co-existence between wildlife and human activities with due recognition of the livelihood , developmental, social and cultural rights of the local people.
  • Any change in boundaries of a tiger reserve shall be made on the recommendation of the National Tiger Conservation Authority and the approval of National Board of Wild life .

Population Estimation:-

By the year 2018, according to the National Tiger Conservation Authority, there were estimated only 2,967 tigers in existence in India. The 2010 National Tiger Assessment estimated the total population of tigers in India at 1,706. As per Ministry of Environment and Forests, the tiger population in India stood at 2,226 in 2014 with an increase of 30.5% since the 2010 estimate. This exhaustive study indicated that better protected tiger source sites, especially tiger reserves, have maintained viable populations.

  • The South Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are home to nearly, 35% of the tigers in India.
  • The state of Karnataka alone is home to 18% of the tigers in India.
  • The Northeast Indian states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Tripura together with West Bengal account for 5% of the tiger population.
  • The state of Gujarat is the only state with 100% of Asiatic lion population in the world.

National Tiger Conservation Authority:-

The National Tiger Conservation Authority is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change constituted under enabling provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as amended in 2006, for strengthening tiger conservation, as per powers and functions assigned to it under the said Act.

Power and Functions of the NTCA

Powers and functions of the National Tiger Conservation Authority as prescribed under section 38O of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as amended in 2006 are as under:-

  • to approve the tiger conservation plan prepared by the State Government under sub-section (3) of section 38V of this Act;
  • evaluate and assess various aspects of sustainable ecology and disallow any ecologically unsustainable land use such as, mining, industry and other projects within the tiger reserves;
  • lay down normative standards for tourism activities and guidelines for project tiger from time to time for tiger conservation in the buffer and core area of tiger reserves and ensure their due compliance;
  • provide for management focus and measures for addressing conflicts of men and wild animal and to emphasize on co-existence in forest areas outside the National Parks, sanctuaries or tiger reserve, in the working plan code;
  • provide information on protection measures including future conservation plan, estimation of population of tiger and its natural prey species, status of habitats, disease surveillance, mortality survey, patrolling, reports on untoward happenings and such other management aspects as it may deem fit including future plan conservation;
  • approve, co-ordinate research and monitoring on tiger, co-predators, prey habitat, related ecological and socio-economic parameters and their evaluation;
  • facilitate and support the tiger reserve management in the State for biodiversity conservation initiatives through eco-development and people’s participation as per approved management plans and to support similar initiatives in adjoining areas consistent with the Central and State laws;
  • ensure critical support including scientific, information technology and legal support for better implementation of the tiger conservation plan;
  • facilitate ongoing capacity building programme for skill development of officers and staff of tiger reserves, and
  • Perform such other functions as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act with regard to conservation of tigers and their habitat.

International Cooperation:-

  • India has a memorandum of Understanding with Nepal on controlling transboundary illegal trade in wild life and conservation , apart from a protocol on tiger conservation with China.
  • Bilateral protocol with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar.
  • A global Tiger forum of tiger range countries has been created for addressing international issue related to tiger conservation.

Way Forward :-

The efforts of the government to conserve tigers have been successful, where the quantity was 1800 tigers in 1972, while in 2018 the number reached about 3000. Undoubtedly, these efforts will help in increasing the number of tigers in India and preserving biodiversity.

General Studies Paper- III

  • Environment and Ecology

Mains Question:-

  • Discuss the various steps taken by government for Tiger conservation?

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