29 July: International Tiger Day (Global Tiger Day)
Every year 29 July is celebrated across the world as Global Tiger Day to create awareness about tiger conservation and protection of natural habitat of tigers.
Why 29 July? This is because 29 July act as a reminder of agreement signed by countries at Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia in 2010, to raise awareness about decline of global tiger population. Signatories declared an agreement that governments of tiger-populated countries would double animal’s population by 2022.
Global Tiger Day 2019
On occasion of Global Tiger Day 2019 Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release results of 4th cycle of All India Tiger Estimation (AITE) in New Delhi. The Tiger Estimation exercise is believed to be world’s largest wildlife survey effort in terms of- coverage, quantum of camera trapping and intensity of sampling. In India All India Tiger Estimation is conducts in every 4 years.
Government of India and National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has also carried out an economic valuation of tigers in mitigating adverse impact of climate change.
Tiger Conservation in India
Tigers are one of world’s most iconic species. Tigers are an ‘Umbrella Species’ as their conservation also conserves many other species in same area.
Thus with initiative of conserving India’s national animal, Project Tiger was launched in 1973. Due to planned efforts under Project Tiger, at present India has distinction of having maximum number of tigers in world. The 2014 country level tiger assessment had shown a 30% increase of tigers i.e. from 1706 in 2010, tiger population has increased to 2226 in 2014.
However, despite conservation efforts since 1970s, wild tiger populations showed a rapid decline therefore in 2010, during St. Petersburg Declaration, tiger range countries had resolved to double tiger numbers by 2022.
Significance: Observing World Tiger Day is significant because according to World Wildlife Fund (WWF), currently there are only around 3,900 wild tigers in world and as per reports, since the beginning of 20th century around 95% of global tiger population has been lost to various activities like poaching, etc.