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India’s Tiger Population Increases

28 January 2015 | Global Tiger Initiative News Release

Earlier this month, the National Tiger Conservation Authority of the Government of India published the Status of Tigers report finding that the number of tigers in India has increased by a staggering 30 percent from 1,411 to 2,226. More than half of the world’s tigers live in India and preservation of this population is crucial to tiger management efforts.

The increase in the tiger population can be largely attributed to better management and improved protection within tiger reserves and protected areas. In fact, most of the new tigers have been found in the areas with the best protection and strongest monitoring efforts. Improvements in the tiger population parallel efforts to see growth and shared prosperity in communities and regions where tigers live.

“The tiger numbers have recovered in parts of India where economic growth, wages are higher and transition to more urbanized life is well underway,” said Dr. Ullas Karanth, author of The Science of Saving Tigers. “Most of India’s larger tiger populations are here because of relatively effective protection against illegal hunting of tigers and prey.”

GTI has been instrumental in generating high-level political will and on the ground momentum for tiger conservation across all tiger range countries, including India. Over the last six years, GTI has supported tiger range countries to develop national strategies for tiger conservation, organized workshops to facilitate capacity and political ownership and mobilized financial resources to implement monitoring and recovery programs.

With this great success comes further need for work and collaboration. India’s rich knowledge and technical capacity in tiger monitoring and recovery can be immensely helpful in allowing other countries achieve similar benefits. The GTI plays a key role in enabling tiger range countries to learn from each other’s successes. As the Co-Founder and Secretariat for the Global Tiger Initiative, the World Bank has already provided a total of US$58 million in concessional credits and grants to support tiger and other wildlife conservation and recovery efforts in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Lao PDR and Nepal.

Sadly, poaching remains the greatest threat to wild tigers today with tiger parts in high demand throughout Asia. In addition, habitat loss continues to be a challenge for dwindling tiger populations. But the success in India stands as an indicator that the tiger range countries and the global community can achieve their shared goal if they invest in capacity building, community involvement, habitat protection, ending wildlife crime and reducing demand in wildlife products, as recently agreed at the 2nd Global Tiger Stocktaking Conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The GTI is committed to working further with range countries and partners in supporting these critical and time-sensitive efforts and bringing them to scale through the Global Tiger Recovery Program.

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