Project Tiger is the name given to an initiative dedicated to helping save the tiger from extinction. More specifically, Project Tiger is based in India and is therefore generally aimed towards maintaining a healthy population of Bengal tigers in India.
Since its inception in 1973, Project Tiger has been credited with a major increase in Bengal tiger numbers. Project Tiger claimed to have tripled the Bengal tiger population from its 1973 count of around 1,200, to 3,642 tigers in 2001/2002. Unfortunately, a more recent report indicates that the Bengal tiger population has been reduced back to 1,411 due to poaching. The report, published in February 2008, is based on a census carried out in 2007.
Project Tiger carries out their work using the following approach:
- Elimination of all forms of human exploitation and disturbance from the core and rationalisation of such activities in the buffer.
- Limitation of the habitat management to repair damage done by man.
- Researching facts about habitat and wild animals and carefully monitoring changes in flora and fauna.
According to the official website, Project Tiger’s main objective is:
…to ensure a viable population of tiger in India for scientific , economic , aesthetic , cultural and ecological values and to preserve for all time, areas of biological importance as a natural heritage for the benefit, education and enjoyment of the people. Main objectives under the scheme include wildlife management, protection measures and site specific ecodevelopment to reduce the dependency of local communities on tiger reserve resources.
The website also says:
Tiger is symbol of wilderness and well-being of the ecosystem. By conserving and saving tigers the entire wilderness ecosystem is conserved…
When you consider that India’s tiger population dropped from more than 40,000 to around 1,200 in 70 years, and is now only around 1,400, I sure hope Project Tiger can get those tiger numbers back up!
To learn more about Project Tiger, check out the official website.