International Tiger Day 2020: Every year on July 29, Global Tiger Day is observed across the world to create awareness about the importance of tiger conservation. With only 3900 tigers left in the wild in the whole world, the day assumes greater significance to educate masses about tiger conservation issues. Also Read - Kolkata Couple Goes On Motorcycle Campaign to Raise Awareness About Tiger Conservation

The decision to celebrate this day was taken at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia in 2010 to raise awareness about the falling number of tigers in the world.

However, in India, conservation efforts have yielded great results as the tiger population has nearly doubled ahead of the target year 2022.

On the occasion, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar released the All India Tiger Estimation Report and lauded the success story of Project Tiger. Notably, the project started in 1973 with just 9 tiger reserves covering 18,278 sq km in 9 states but today, there are 50 tiger reserves spread over an area of 72,749 sq km in 18 tiger range states.

According to the All India Tiger Estimation Report-2018, India is now home to nearly, 70 per cent of the global tiger population. The total big cat population in India stands at 2,967 now, as compared to 1,400 in 2014, as per ‘Status of Tigers, Co-Predators & Prey in India’ report.

Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of tigers in the country with 526 big cats, followed by Karnataka with 524 tigers and Uttarakhand, having 442 tigers.

The Environment Minister further said that India is now ready to become a leader and work with 12 other tiger-range countries to manage their tiger reserves, train them and build their capacity.

Twitterati hailed India’s success and pledged to protect the big cats.

President Kovind wrote on Twitter, ”On #InternationalTigerDay, the world lauds India’s momentous success in doubling tiger population in 12 years. I compliment National Tiger Conservation Authority, Wildlife Institute of India, State Forest Depts, forest officers & all stakeholders for this feat #IndiasTigerSuccess.”

Here are other reactions:

Presently, apart from India, there are 12 tiger range countries including China, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Bhutan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal, Malaysia, Russia and Myanmar.

The main reasons for the loss of the tiger population are poaching, climate change, and the destruction of their natural habitat.