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International Tiger Day: India, Home to Largest Tiger Population, Has Leading Role to Play in Its Conservation

The primary goal behind International Tiger Day is to promote a global environment to protect the natural habitats of tigers and support for issues pertaining to conservation of tigers.

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Updated:July 29, 2018, 1:09 PM IST
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International Tiger Day: India, Home to Largest Tiger Population, Has Leading Role to Play in Its Conservation
A royal Bengal tiger yawns in an enclosure in New Delhi zoo. (Image: Reuters)
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New Delhi: International Tiger Day, also known as Global Tiger Day, is celebrated annually on July 29 every year to raise awareness for tiger conservation. It was created in 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia with the goal to bring worldwide attention to the dwindling numbers of tigers and their plight. This is the eighth annual International Tiger Day.

The primary goal behind International Tiger Day is to promote a global environment to protect the natural habitats of tigers and support for issues pertaining to conservation of tigers.

At the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia, the participating countries took initiatives to better the declining numbers of tigers and thereby, vowed to double its population by the year 2020.

India has a leading role to play in tiger conservation as the nation is home to about 70% of the tiger population in the world. Therefore, the matter is of collective responsibility of all stakeholders and not just the forest staff alone. India proudly hosts 2,226 out of 3,890 big cats in the world.

The All India Tiger Assessment, 2018, is expected to confirm the final estimate of tigers by the end of this year. The Ministry of Environment had claimed that 45% of the tiger deaths between the years 2012 and 2017 was caused due to unnatural reasons. However, out of the 45%, 37% of tigers died due to poaching and seizures of body parts. The remaining deaths could be caused by road and railway accidents.

Due to heightened global warming and depleting forest territories, incidents of tigers travelling hundreds of kilometres looking for suitable lands have come to the forefront over the past few years.

The Project Tiger, administered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority of India (NTCA), and various associations working towards the common goal of 'Save the Tiger' have contributed massively to not just conserve the big cat's population but also make India the country with the largest population of tigers in the world.

Wildlife experts are of the opinion that methods for tiger estimation vary with countries hence, it becomes difficult to rely on the figures. In India, there has been a subsequent increase in the numbers of tigers over the years, the success of which can be attributed to improved surveys and enhanced protection charged with better field patrolling.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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