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The government passed the Wildlife Protection Act in 1972 for the protection and preservation of different species of flora and fauna.
The Project Tiger was launched by the Indira Gandhi government in 1973 from the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand with the ambitious aim of increasing the population of the tiger in the country.
The initial reserves under Project Tiger were the Jim Corbett, Manas, Ranthambore, Simlipal, Bandipur, Palamau, Sundarbans, Melghta and Kanha national parks.
From 9 tiger reserves since its formative years, the Project Tiger coverage has increased to 54 at present, spread out in 18 of our tiger range states.
The tiger reserves are constituted on a core/buffer strategy.
Core areas have the legal status of a national park or a sanctuary.
Whereas, buffer or peripheral areas are a mix of forest and non-forest land, managed as a multiple-use area.
Introduction: Project Tiger is a conservation program launched by the Government of India in 1973 to protect the endangered Bengal tigers.
Objectives: The primary objective of Project Tiger was to ensure the survival and maintenance of the Bengal tiger in its natural habitat.
Implementation: The project was implemented by establishing tiger reserves in various parts of the country, covering an area of over 33,000 square kilometres.
Anti-poaching measures: The project included anti-poaching measures such as deploying forest guards and creating a specialized tiger protection force to prevent poaching and illegal trade in tiger parts.
Habitat management: The project also included habitat management, such as the removal of invasive species and reforestation, to restore and enhance the natural habitat of tigers.
Relocation of people: To minimize human-tiger conflicts, the project also involved relocating people living within the tiger reserves to areas outside of the tiger habitat.
Successes: As a result of these efforts, the population of tigers in India has increased significantly over the years, from around 1,400 in 2006 to over 2,200 in 2018.
Challenges: Despite the success of Project Tiger, tigers still face numerous threats, including habitat loss, poaching, and human-tiger conflicts.
Recognition: Project Tiger has been recognized worldwide as a successful model for tiger conservation and has been replicated in other countries with declining tiger populations.
The government has set up a Tiger Protection Force to combat poachers and funded the relocation of villagers to minimise human-tiger conflicts.
National Tiger Conservation Authority was established in 2005 following a recommendation of the Tiger Task Force, to reorganise the management of Project Tiger and the many Tiger Reserves in India. It is the overarching body for the conservation of tigers in India.
Various Centrally Sponsored Schemes, such as Project Tiger and Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats, provide financial and technical assistance to states.
54 Tiger Reserves in India generate approximately 4.3 million man-days of employment, and funds from the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) are used to promote voluntary village resettlement from core areas of the Tiger Reserves.
Increased punishment for offences involving a tiger reserve or its core area.
Increased anti-poaching activity, including a special strategy for monsoon patrolling.
State-level steering committees chaired by Chief Ministers, as well as the establishment of the Tiger Conservation Foundation.
Although India has succeeded at the protected area level, we still lack conservation at the ecosystem level. In the future India needs to concentrate on developing tiger corridors and interconnection between various ecosystems.
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