Project Tiger

Project Tiger was started in the year 1973 as an animal conservation project, by the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi to save the endangered species of tiger in India.

Conservation status of – the Indian Tiger

Indian Tiger or Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris)

  • It is a tiger species native to India.
  • The largest populations of Bengal tigers are in India, but there are some smaller groups in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan. It may also be present in areas of China and Burma.
  • India is home to 80% of the global tiger population.
  • Bengal tiger habitats usually are tropical rainforests, marshes, and tall grasses.
  • The tigers are an “umbrella” species as by rescuing them, we save everything beneath their ecological umbrella – everything connected to them.
  • Conservation status of Tiger: IUCN Red List: Endangered, Wildlife protection Act: Schedule I and CITES: Appendix I.
  • Threat to Tiger in India:
  1. Habitats loss
  2. Poaching
  3. Wildlife Crime and growing incidents of man-animal conflict.

Project Tiger

Indian Tiger – Panthera tigris

  • Under Animal Conservation Project.
  • Starting from nine (9) reserves in 1973-2016 the number is grown up to fifty (50). A total area of 71027.10 km2 is covered by these project tiger areas.
  • According to one estimate, there were 40,000 tigers in 1900 which declined to about 1700 in 2011 and increased to 2226 in 2014 and hunted/decreasing by year on year.

Project Tiger was started in the year

  • Project Tiger was launched in India on 1st April 1973, by the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi to save the endangered species of tiger in the country.
  • 44 Tiger Reserves – In 2014.
  • UNESCO declared a World Heritage SiteManas National Park of Assam.

The main objectives of Project Tiger are:

(i) to ensure the maintenance of the available population of tigers in India for scientific, economic, cultural and aesthetic values.

(ii) to preserve, for all times, the areas of such biological importance as a national heritage for the benefit of education and enjoyment of the people.

(iii) conservation of the endangered species.

(iv) to protect the rights of the tribals and local people around the tiger reserves.

Tiger Reserves of India

Sl. No.Name of Tiger ReserveStateTotal area(In Sq.Kms.)
1Nagarjunsagar Srisailam (part)*Andhra Pradesh3296.31
2NamdaphaArunachal Pradesh2052.82
3Kamlang Tiger ReserveArunachal Pradesh783
4PakkeArunachal Pradesh1198.45
7Orang Tiger Reserve           Assam 492.46
9Valmiki Bihar899.38
11Achanakmar Chattisgarh914.017
18Biligiri Ranganatha Temple Karnataka574.82
21KanhaMadhya Pradesh2051.791
22PenchMadhya Pradesh1179.63225
23BandhavgarhMadhya Pradesh1598.1
24PannaMadhya Pradesh1578.55
25SatpuraMadhya Pradesh2133.30797
26Sanjay-DubriMadhya Pradesh1674.502
30Sahyadri Maharashtra1165.57
38Mukandra Hills Rajasthan759.99
39Kalakad-MundanthuraiTamil Nadu1601.542
40Anamalai Tamil Nadu  1479.87
41MudumalaiTamil Nadu688.59
42SathyamangalamTamil Nadu1408.4
43Kawal Telangana2019.12
45Dudhwa Uttar Pradesh2201.7748
46Pilibhit Uttar Pradesh730.2498
47Amangarh (buffer of Corbett TR)Uttar Pradesh80.6
48Rajaji TRUttarakhand1075.17
49SunderbansWest Bengal2584.89
50BuxaWest Bengal757.9038

Source: Project Tiger (as of August 2019)

Tiger Conservation – Indian and Global Efforts

Project Tiger: The Government launched this centrally Sponsored Scheme in 1973 for in-situ conservation of wild tigers in designated tiger reserves.

National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA): It is a statutory body established in 2006 under MoEFCC performing functions as provided in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Presently It implements major tiger conservation initiatives like project tiger, Tiger conservation plan etc.

Global Conservation Efforts

Global Tiger Initiative (GTI): It was launched in 2008 as a global alliance of :

  • governments,
  • international organizations,
  • civil society,
  • the conservation and scientific communities
  • the private sector,
  • with the aim of working together to save wild tigers from extinction. In 2013, the scope was broadened to include Snow Leopards.

St. Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia, 2010: All 13 tiger range countries came together for the first time with the commitment of doubling the number of wild tigers by 2022.

Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP): It seeks to empower Tiger Range Countries to address the entire spectrum of threats, domestic as well as those that are transboundary in nature, and work toward increased financial sustainability through the integration of conservation objectives into development.

The Global Tiger Forum (GTF) is the only intergovernmental international body established with members from willing countries to embark on a global campaign to protect the Tiger.

TX2: Its goal was to double the number of wild tigers across their geographical areas. The WWF is implementing the programme in 13 tiger range countries.

Conservation Assured Tiger Standards CATS


The four-year tiger census report, ‘Status of Tigers, Co-predators, Prey and their Habitat, 2018’  Census was led by:-

  1. National Tiger Conservation Authority and
  2. Wildlife Institute of India, in collaboration with State Forest Departments.
  3. World Wildlife Fund India was the implementation partner.


  1. the count of tigers in India has risen to 2967, in 2018 from 2,226 in 2014.
  2. The 33% rise in tiger numbers is the highest ever recorded between cycles which stood at 21% between 2006 and 2010 and 30% between 2010 and 2014.

Findings of All India Tiger Estimate-2018

  • The biggest increase in tigers: The biggest increase has been in Madhya Pradesh from 308 in 2014 to 526. Now, MP has the most number of tigers.
  • The continuing loss of tiger-occupied areas: The net loss in the tiger-occupied areas is estimated to be 20% of the tiger habitat in four years.

The decline was spread over three out of India’s five tiger landscapes: The Shivalik, Western Ghats and the North East, while Central India and the Sundarbans landscapes registered an increase.

  • No tiger was recorded in Buxa (West Bengal), Dampa (Mizoram) and Palamu (Jharkhand) tiger reserves.

Technologies used to census the report

  • Monitoring System for Tigers – Intensive Protection and Ecological Status (M-STrIPES): It is a software-based monitoring system by the NTCA.
  • CaTRAT (Camera Trap Data Repository and Analysis Tool): It is an image processing software used for organizing and geotagging photo-captures.
  • ExtractCompare for tigers and HotSpotter for leopards: Individual identification of tigers and leopards was done using these pattern recognition programmes.
  • Spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR) method: used to estimate population density from camera trap data.
  • Cytochrome-b marker: genetic analysis, Genomic DNA was extracted and samples were screened for species identification.
  • Maximum Entropy Models (MaxEnt): In some north-eastern states with logistical concerns based on photos taken within small intensively searched areas, habitats.
project tiger
project tiger

Tiger corridors in Country

  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India has published a document titled “Connecting Tiger Populations for Long-term Conservation”, which has mapped out 32 major corridors across the country.
  • A tiger corridor is a stretch of land linking tiger habitats, allowing the movement of tigers, prey and other wildlife.
  • Its management interventions are operationalised through a Tiger Conservation Plan, mandated under section 38V of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • For demarcating these corridors, the country has been divided into 4 landscapes:
  1.  Shivalik Hills & Gangetic Plains– 3 corridors
  2.  Central India & Eastern Ghats– 11 corridors
  3.  Western Ghats– 8 corridors
  4.  North East– 10 corridors

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