Tiger population in India exceeds 3,000, Modi says 'proud moment'
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the wild tiger currently survives in scattered habitats in 13 countries and the census shows a jump from 2,967 to 3,167 just in India.
The largest wild tiger population has gone over 3,000 in India, per a Sunday census, which shows a boost in the conservation efforts for this endangered species which has lost more than 93% of its historic numbers over the past century.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the wild tiger currently survives in scattered habitats in 13 countries and the census shows a jump from 2,967 to 3,167 in just India.
Although the rate of increase has slowed to less than 7% over the past four years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the new number a "proud moment".
During a ceremony in the southern city of Mysuru, Modi said, "Our family is expanding," adding, "This is a success not only for India but the entire world."
Across the Asian continent, tiger populations have been threatened as a result of deforestation, poaching, and human interference with habitats, but India has seen an increase in population numbers with credit to "people's participation" and the country's "culture of conservation".
From 40,000 to 1,411 in less than 60 years
Modi added that 75% of the world's tiger population lives in India.
An estimated 100,000 tigers are said to have lived on the planet in 1900, but in 2010, it dropped to a record low of 3,200. When that shocking revelation hit in 2010, India and 12 other nations home to tiger populations entered a treaty or an agreement to double the tiger numbers by 2022.
When India got its independence from Britain in 1947, it is believed to have been home to nearly 40,000 tigers but it plunged to 3,700 in 2002 and 1,411 in 2006.
In related news, as of last month, a new lion sanctuary is set to be opened in the Indian state of Gujarat after an increase in the number due to successful conservation efforts. The world's only Asiatic lions population can be found in Gir's national park. The park is also the only place, outside Africa, where these lions can be seen in their natural habitat.