Stripped of the Striped Cat

When the threat of extension loomed over India’s national animal, the Royal Bengal tiger, Project Tiger was launched in the Jim Corbett to preserve their dwindling population.
The Royal Bengal tiger; Source: Public Domain

The Royal Bengal tiger; Source: Public Domain

India has been the home to the magnificent Royal Bengal Tiger for a long time now; close to seventy per cent of the world's tiger population can be found in India. As a result, poaching and hunting activities in India have also been rampant throughout the country, which has meant that the population of tigers is always at a bigger threat than other animals. Project Tiger was an initiative meant to protect this dwindling population of tigers from the unending material desires of these savages.

Project Tiger began in 1973 when the population of Tigers had plummeted from around 40,000 tigers in the previous century to just 1800.

The numbers had induced horror from all corners of civil society, which mounted pressure on the government for its lacklustre management of the big cat population.

The water had truly gone above the head and so, the governing brass of that time pulled up their socks with the announcement of Project Tiger.

The goal of the government was two-pronged- It wanted to identify factors that put them at risk and work out viable solutions to solve this problem as well as maintaining a bare minimum level of the species so that they can positively contribute to the ecosystem as well as the vibrant cultural aesthetic of India.

A special impetus was placed on phasing out poaching completely and special Tiger Protection forces were created to reign in the poachers who had brought India in this situation to begin with. The program didn't have the desired effects for close to three decades; a 2006 survey suggested that the population of the tigers had fallen further down to just 1411.

In a bid to save their face as well as the tigers', there was a more organised and co-ordinated approach was adopted. The efforts have paid off and another survey in 2018 indicated that the numbers of tiger had seen a considerable increase in the last twelve years and had risen close to 3000 tigers. While the number is still quite less, the situation has significantly improved. The Big Cat is alive and kicking.

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