Tigers in Gujarat
- Till the early 1980s, there were tigers in Gujarat, mainly inhabiting the forests of Dang, Narmada and Sabarkantha districts.
- According to records, the last tiger died in a road accident in Dang in 1985.
- Local people generally confuse hyenas with tigers and that is how they assume there are tigers in Gujarat forests.
Population estimation method
- Tiger population is estimated as per NTCA (National Tiger Conservation Authority) protocols.
- The protocol entails estimating the minimum numbers based on camera trap method.
- Camera traps are focused on areas with high probability of tiger sightings.
- Camera traps are left intact for a period of 45- 60 days.
- The images are then subjected to analysis using WildID software programme. This software throws up unique ID for tiger based on their stripe patterns and eliminates duplicates.
Tiger Conservation Programme
- Tigers are terminal consumers in the ecological food pyramid and their conservation results in the conservation of all trophic levels in an ecosystem.
- Project Tiger is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Government of India which was launched in 1973 for in-situ conservation of wild tigers in designated tiger reserves.
- Project Tiger is being implemented in 18 States of India in collaboration with the respective State Governments.
National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)
- The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is a statutory body under Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
- It performs supervisory/ coordination role, as provided in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
India’s present status in Tiger Conservation
- Due to concerted efforts under Project Tiger since 1973, India alone has the maximum number of tigers and its source areas amongst the 13 tiger range countries.
- Project Tiger has been more than successful in its endeavour and has put the endangered Tiger, our national animal, on an assured path of recovery.
- In the contemporary global scenario, this effort hardly has any parallel.