Sadly, many of the world’s most beautiful creatures are on the endangered species list, with an outlook that’s pretty bleak, at best. However, occasionally a species makes a comeback, and those occurrences are definitely something we should celebrate. The latest species to give us a reason to celebrate is the tiger population in India.
Over the last four years, there has been an increase of 30 percent in India’s tiger population. That’s a major win on the conservation front. Specifically, there were only 1,706 tigers in India in 2011 and a little over 2,200 in 2015. Today, that number is 2,967.
Most experts believe that about 70% of the entire world’s population calls India home. When you have a species that has that many animals in one location, a 30% increase in population is a huge step towards the species’ survival.
The increased concentration efforts over the past several years have certainly helped, but it’s important to realize that those conservation efforts aren’t really anything new. In fact, tigers have been a focus of conservation efforts since 1972 when experts first determined that the animals were threatened with extinction (at that time, only 1,872 tigers were expected to live in India). Project Tiger is responsible for much of the population increase, thanks to the program’s 20,674 square miles of habitat and nearly 50 reserves that have been dedicated to the species’ survival.
The biggest threat for India’s tigers is still poaching and a demand for tiger products on the black market. Money is a vital component in protecting the tigers, too. Thanks to a booming tourism market, tiger conservation efforts are getting a lot of funding, even in the wake of much stricter laws regarding the visiting of tiger reserves.
The increase in tiger population in India is definitely a win on the conservation front, but it certainly doesn’t mean that organizations are going to take it easy. There is still a massive demand in China for tiger products, so it would seem that the battlefront has just changed venues.