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Tiger Population: Challenges and Conservation Efforts

Tiger Population and Challenges in Conservation

Current Tiger Population Status: India boasts a remarkable wild tiger population, reaching around 3,000, significantly increased from 1,400 in 2006. Approximately 30% of tigers roam outside protected areas, often encroaching into human habitats due to shrinking natural habitats and the invasion of non-native flora.

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Factors Affecting Tiger Population

  • Shrinking tiger corridors due to infrastructural development like highways, railways, and canals threaten their natural habitats.
  • The change in tiger estimation methods in 2005 led to a drastic reset of tiger numbers, influencing claims of subsequent successes.

Carrying Capacity and Challenges

  • India’s forests, covering about 20% of tiger-supporting areas, potentially can sustain 10,000 to 15,000 tigers.
  • However, conflicts between humans and tigers might increase due to habitat limitations.

Conservation Strategies and Concerns

  • Conservation efforts should focus on preserving landscapes that include connected tiger populations to maintain genetic diversity.
  • Human-wildlife conflict management needs improvement, emphasizing inclusive conservation and respecting human rights.

Critical Next Steps in Tiger Conservation

  • Tiger conservation should transcend mere population count towards deeper research on tiger movement and social dynamics in human-dominated landscapes.
  • Protecting dispersal areas between protected areas (PAs) remains crucial for maintaining gene flow among tiger populations.

Future Challenges and Conservation Priorities

  • As India undergoes significant rural development, balancing infrastructure growth and conservation becomes paramount.
  • Local community support remains pivotal for the future of large carnivore conservation.

Conflict Management and Evidence-Based Approaches

  • Continuous monitoring of conflict-prone areas is essential to understand specific conflict drivers and implement informed conflict management strategies.


India holds the largest wild tiger population globally across diverse landscapes, but challenges persist in conservation efforts. Moving beyond mere numbers, in-depth research and inclusive approaches are vital for the continued success of tiger conservation. The future depends on balancing development with conservation efforts and fostering harmonious coexistence between humans and wildlife.

Read Also: Groundwater Extraction and Land Subsidence

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