Project Tiger Current Affairs - 2020

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.

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WII to house India’s first tiger repository

The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) will house the India’s first repository on tigers, under its new Tiger Cell.

The repository will consist of huge database on tiger conservation and population estimation which has been prepared with collaborated effort with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

India’s first tiger cell was set up at the WII campus in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. In this regard, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the NTCA and WII.

The cell will house a database of tigers as well as DNA and stripes samples of the big cats from over 50 tiger reserves. It will aid conservation efforts by preventing poaching and providing an update on tiger numbers.

About Wildlife Institute of India (WII)

  • WII is an autonomous institution under the Union Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change. It is based in Chandrabani, Dehradun.
  • Functions: It conducts specialised research in areas of study like Endangered Species, Biodiversity, Wildlife Management, Wildlife Policy, Wildlife Forensics, Habitat Ecology, Spatial Modelling, Ecodevelopment, and Climate Change.
  • Research facilities: WII’s research facility includes Remote Sensing, Forensics and Geographic Information System (GIS) etc. It has contributed in studying and protecting wildlife in India and also has popularized wildlife studies and careers.

About National Tiger Conservation Authority (NCTA)

  • NTCA is a statutory body under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change.
  • It was provided statutory status by the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2006 which had amended Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • It addresses the administrative as well as ecological concerns for conserving tigers, by providing a statutory basis for protection of tiger reserves.
  • It also provides strengthened institutional mechanisms for the protection of ecologically sensitive areas and endangered species.
  • It ensures enforcing of guidelines for tiger conservation and monitoring compliance of the same.
  • It also places motivated and trained officers having good track record as Field Directors of tiger reserves.

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