On International Tiger Day 2019, the population of tigers in India has been recorded at an all time high, particularly in the central states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The tiger census – taken every four years – has seen a rise of tigers from 1,411 in 2006 to 2,967 in 2018.

As of today, the highest population of tiger stands at 526 in Madhya Pradesh. As per the counting, the second highest population of tiger is 442 in Uttarakhand. However, the most drastic increase in number of tigers has happened in the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh this year.

There has been a steady increase in tiger in both Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand since 2006, after it was recorded that there were a shockingly low number of them in the wild. It was in the year 2018 that a commendable rise was recorded in the number of the tigers.

It was in 2006 that India started counting the population of its national animal. During the time Uttarakhand had recorded a population of 178 which had steadily increased to 227 in the 2010 counting. In 2014 thereafter, the number increased to 340 in the state. And as per the 2018 counting of tigers, Uttarakhand recorded the maximum number of tigers in India at 442.

On the other hand, in Uttar Pradesh, the 2006 counting estimated to an appalling 109 tigers in the state. The number increased to 118 in the 2010 counting, saw a slight drop again in 2016, only to have recorded a hearth-warming number of 173 big cats in the 2018 counting.

As far as central India is concerned, Chhattisgarh has recorded an abysmal figure of tigers. While as per the 2014 counting, there were only 46 tigers in Chhattisgarh, the number has now reduced to only 19 tigers in the state, as per the 2018 counting.

However, with the collective effort of naturalists, wildlife enthusiasts and the government, there’s hope for the numbers to get even better. After all, what’s India’s national parks without spotting the majestic tiger roaming freely in its natural habitat. Some of the best national parks to spot them are Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand and Dudhwa National Park in Uttar Pradesh.

Source: Parag Madhukar Dakate, Coordinator, Tiger Census, Uttarakhand.