Tiger populations are increasing in India and Bhutan.
According to the minister of state for forest, environment, and climate change, India recorded an average of 3,682 tigers, making it home to 75% of the world’s wild tigers.
Separately, Bhutan recorded 131 tigers, a 27% increase from the previous year’s tally.
The updated data are released to coincide with International Tiger Day.
According to the environment ministry, India’s tiger population is increasing at a rate of 6% every year.
The increase in population is a significant conservation victory for India, which saw its tiger population collapse to less than 2,000 in the 1970s due to rampant poaching and habitat destruction.
“India’s exemplary efforts in tiger conservation and the increase in tiger numbers is not just a statistic, but a testament to the determination and commitment of the nation,” said Bhupender Yadav, federal minister of forest, environment, and climate change.
The increase in the number of tigers was also hailed in Bhutan, the tiny Himalayan country.
“This is a significant achievement and an indication of a very healthy ecosystem,” said Chimi Rinzin, Country Director of the World Wildlife Fund-Bhutan.
The Bhutan tiger population assessment discovered signs of Tigers reproducing at various altitudes throughout the country, implying that the monarchy could assist regional populations in recovering.
The news has been hailed in both Bhutan and India, as the world continues to battle with the rising loss of species due to factors such as climate change.
Tigers, as apex predators, are regarded as critical to the preservation of the intricate processes that underpin the natural world.
They are, nevertheless, a threatened species. According to WWF data, the worldwide wild tiger population has declined by around 95% over the last century.
The loss of habitat owing to human habitation, as well as the illegal wildlife trafficking, are among the factors causing the reduction.
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Nepal, like Bhutan and India, has made considerable strides, more than doubling its tiger population in the last decade.
The India Tiger Census reveals consistent population increase.
Tigers have recovered and attacks are on the rise.
However, there have been reports of an increase in tiger attacks in regions where conservation initiatives are underway.
As more tigers fight for the same resources in India, some of them are wandering outside protected wildlife reserves in search of food. This may cause them to clash with residents of adjacent settlements.
According to government records, more than 100 people were murdered in tiger attacks in India between 2019 and 2021.
Bhutan has similar concerns.
“If tigers are to thrive, human-tiger conflict must be addressed,” according to Bhutan’s national tiger survey study and the WWF.
“Increased conflict results in decreased tolerance for tigers and poses a significant threat to both local people and tigers themselves,” the researchers wrote.
While Stuart Chapman, the WWF’s tiger preservation campaign leader, acknowledges that increased tiger populations can exacerbate issues, he adds, “Bhutan is perfectly positioned to be a global champion for approaches that support coexistence between tigers and people.”