New Delhi: Global Tiger Day or International Tiger Day is observed on July 29 every year to raise awareness about the declining the population of the wild cats and making that efforts to conserve them. Since the start of 20th century, there was a sharp decline in the number of wild cats globally. However, the situation has improved considerably with the increase in their number.
History of International Tiger Day: The Global Tiger Day came into being during the signing of Saint Petersburg declaration by 13 tiger range countries in 2010 in Russia. The governments of these tiger range countries had resolved to encourage the conservation, protecting natural habitats and double the number of tigers by 2022. Poaching & illegal trade of tiger body parts like bone, skin have posed the biggest threat to wild tigers. The demand for tiger body parts has increased the poaching and trafficking of wild cats.
Significance of Global Tiger Day: According to the WWF experts Darren Grover, the world had lost around 97 per cent of wild tigers in the last 100 years. Currently, only 3,000 tigers are left alive compared to around 100,000 Tiger a century ago. Many international organizations, including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), are also involved in the conservation of the wild tigers.
The India success story: India’s tiger population is currently stands at 2,967 which is 70% of the global tiger population. Till 2014, the tiger population in India was around 1,600. The increase in the tiger population in India can be attributed to the launch of the tiger conservation programme-Project Tiger-in 1973. On Tuesday, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar released the Tiger Census report. The minister said, “India is proud of its tiger assets. The country today has 70% of the world’s tiger population. We are ready to work with all the 13 tiger range countries in their actual management of tiger reserves.” According to the Tiger Census report, the Corbett Tiger Reserve in Uttarakhand has the highest number of 231 big cats in the country. Currently, the tiger population within the reserves is 1,923 (65% of the total tiger population of India). The state-wise distribution of tigers reveals that Madhya Pradesh has the maximum number of tigers at 526 followed by Karnataka at 524 and 442 in Uttarakhand.