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50 Years of Project Tiger in India: Celebrating Conservation Success and Addressing Ongoing Challenges

by Wild Lense 20 Jun 2023

Project Tiger is a wildlife conservation initiative launched in India in 1973 with the aim of preserving the dwindling population of Bengal tigers in the country. The project was initiated by the Government of India, in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and various state governments.

The project was launched in response to the alarming decline in the tiger population in India due to rampant hunting, poaching, and habitat destruction. The primary objective of the project was to protect and conserve the tiger population and their natural habitats. The project was initially launched in nine tiger reserves across India, covering an area of approximately 16,339 square kilometers. Over the years, the project has been expanded to include 50 tiger reserves in 18 states across India.

The success of Project Tiger can be attributed to the tireless efforts of forest officials, scientists, and conservationists who have worked towards protecting the tiger population and their habitats. The project has been successful in increasing the population of tigers in India from a mere 1,411 in 2006 to 2,967 in 2019. The project has also been instrumental in improving the habitats of tigers and in protecting other wildlife species that share the tiger’s habitat.

Project Tiger is a conservation initiative that was launched in India on April 1, 1973, with the aim of protecting the endangered Bengal tiger. It was a pioneering effort in wildlife conservation, and it has successfully helped to increase the population of tigers in India. As Project Tiger completes 50 years, it is an opportune moment to reflect on its achievements and the challenges that lie ahead.

The idea of Project Tiger was conceived by the famous Indian conservationist, Kailash Sankhala. He recognized the importance of protecting the Bengal tiger, which was facing the threat of extinction due to habitat loss, poaching, and other human activities. The project was launched with nine tiger reserves covering an area of 16,339 sq km. The number of reserves has now increased to 50, covering an area of over 72,749 sq km.

The main objective of Project Tiger was to ensure a viable population of tigers in their natural habitats. To achieve this goal, the project aimed to:

  • Eliminate or mitigate the factors that led to the decline of tiger populations, such as habitat loss, poaching, and human-tiger conflict.
  • Provide a secure environment for tigers to breed and thrive.
  • Ensure a continuous supply of prey for the tigers.
  • Over the years, Project Tiger has achieved remarkable success in conserving the tiger population in India. According to the latest tiger census, conducted in 2018, the tiger population in India has increased from 1,411 in 2006 to 2,967 in 2018, an increase of 210%. This is a remarkable achievement, and it is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the people involved in the project.
  • However, the success of Project Tiger has not been without its challenges. One of the biggest challenges facing the project is the issue of human-tiger conflict. As the human population continues to grow, the conflict between humans and tigers is also increasing. Tigers are often seen as a threat to human life and livestock, and this has led to retaliation against the tigers. This is a complex issue, and it requires a multi-pronged approach, including education, awareness, and mitigation measures.
  • Another challenge facing Project Tiger is habitat loss. As human populations continue to grow, the demand for land and resources is also increasing. This has led to the fragmentation of tiger habitats and the loss of their natural prey. To address this issue, it is essential to have a comprehensive land-use policy that takes into account the needs of both humans and wildlife.
  • Apart from Project Tiger, many organizations are working towards wildlife conservation in India. One such organization is Wildlense Eco Foundation. Founded in 2019, Wildlense Eco Foundation is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to conserving wildlife and their habitats. The organization works towards raising awareness about the importance of wildlife conservation and promoting sustainable development practices.
  • Wildlense Eco Foundationhas initiated various programs, including conservation education, anti-poaching patrols, and habitat restoration. The organization also conducts research and surveys to understand the threats to wildlife and develop strategies to mitigate them.
  • In conclusion, Project Tiger has been a pioneering effort in wildlife conservation, and it has helped to increase the tiger population in India. As the project completes 50 years, it is essential to continue the momentum and address the challenges that lie ahead. Organizations like Wildlense Eco Foundation are playing a crucial role in conserving wildlife and their habitats, and their efforts must be appreciated and supported. It is only by working together that we can ensure a future for our wildlife and our planet.
  • However, despite the success of Project Tiger, there are still significant challenges that need to be addressed. The rapid industrialization and urbanization of India have resulted in widespread habitat destruction and fragmentation, leading to the loss of vital forest corridors that are critical for the movement of tigers and other wildlife species. Poaching and illegal wildlife trade also continue to pose a significant threat to the tiger population in India.
  • In light of these challenges, many NGOs and foundations have come forward to work toward the conservation of tigers and their habitats. One such organization is the Wildlense Eco Foundation, which is dedicated to the conservation of wildlife and their habitats in India. The organization works towards creating awareness among the general public about the need to protect wildlife and their habitats and also conducts various conservation projects across India.
  • The Wildlense Eco Foundationhas been working towards the conservation of tigers and their habitats in India since its inception. The organization has been involved in several conservation projects, including the restoration of degraded forests, the creation of artificial water bodies for wildlife, and the establishment of anti-poaching patrols to protect tigers from poachers.
  • In conclusion, Project Tiger has been a remarkable success in the conservation of tigers in India, and it has paved the way for many other wildlife conservation initiatives in the country. The tireless efforts of forest officials, scientists, and conservationists, along with the support of various NGOs and foundations, have made it possible to increase the tiger population in India.
  • However, there is still a long way to go, and it is essential to continue working toward the conservation of tigers and their habitats in India. The Wildlense Eco Foundation is one such organization that is doing excellent work in this field and deserves commendation for its efforts toward wildlife conservation in India.


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