India’s Tigers up by 33%, but What Is the Census Report Missing?

India’s tiger population has risen by 33% since 2014 but how do we measure India’s success rate? Tune in!

1 min read

India’s tiger population has increased 33 percent since 2014 and the good news came from PM Modi very felicitously the occasion of International Tiger Day.

The previous decade has seen a major decline in the world’s tiger population, bad enough that only 3,900 tigers are estimated to remain across the world. India, however, brings happy tidings with an increase of the tiger population. Government data which was released on the occasion boasts the total count to have risen from 2,226 in 2014 to 2,967, which is 741 more tigers. Great news, right?

While the government is perhaps attempting to protect tigers, it’s also taking two steps backwards. An IndiaSpend report found that India’s Environment Ministry exempted thirteen pending railway projects, worth Rs 19,400 crore from seeking forest permits, a move which will affect a tiger corridor, a tiger reserve and a national park.

So, let’s take a break from appreciating the government’s effort for the conservation of tigers and dive deep into the tiger census itself. How do we measure, how do we know if we are doing a good job of protecting tigers, and how do we read between the lines of the government report? This is what we will discuss in today’s The Big Story podcast, and also talk about how this census was conducted and how the numbers were arrived at.

We also spoke to Natural historian and Wildlife Conservationist Valmik Thappar and Tiger Watch's field biologist Dr Dharmendra Khandel. Tune in!

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