Burning bright – On Project Tiger | 11th April 2023 | UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis

Please Share with maximum friends to support the Initiative.

What's the article about?

  • It talks about the success of conservation efforts – project tiger.


  • GS3: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment;
  • Prelims


  • Recently, the Government has released the figures of the 5th cycle of India’s Tiger Census.
  • This data shows that tiger numbers have once again increased and now stands at 3,167 in the wild as of 2022.
    • The 2018 Tiger Census, released in July 2019, had established the presence of 2,967 tigers in India. The animal’s population in the country has increased by 200 or 6.7 per cent in the past four years.
    • While the tiger numbers in the country stood at 1,411 in 2006, it increased to 1,706 in 2010 and 2,226 in the 2014 cycle of evaluations.
  • This year marks the 50th anniversary of Project Tiger's launch. On this occasion, the Government of India launched the “International Big Cat Alliance.”
  • It will focus on protection and conservation of seven major big cats of the world, including tiger and lion.

Project Tiger:

  • The Project Tiger was launched in 1973 by the government of India under the power of Indira Gandhi from the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand.
  • Aims:
    • To identify factors causing the reduction in tiger habitats
    • To mitigate the tigers through suitable management practices.
    • To resolve the condition of natural ecosystems which were damaged by the time.
    • To maintain an appropriate tiger population for their economic, ecological, aesthetical, and cultural significance.
  • For the management of the Project Tiger, several conservation units are formed to help the Project Tiger.
  • The tiger reserves are formed based on a ‘core-buffer’ strategy for efficient management and tiger density administration.
    • Core area of the reserve is a particular part land marked and identified as a core area.
    • The core areas are free from any human activity and it has the legal status of a National Park or Wildlife Sanctuary.
    • The ‘buffer’ areas are marked to surround the core areas. These areas are not frequently occupied by wildlife.
    • A limited human activity is allowed in buffer areas.

International Big Cat Alliance:

  • In the mega international event held on 9th April 2023, at Mysuru, Karnataka,  to commemorate 50 years of Project Tiger,  the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi  launched the International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA) for conservation of seven big cats namely Tiger, Lion, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Cheetah, Jaguar and Puma harbouring our planet.
  • The alliance aims to reach out to 97 range countries covering the natural habitats of Tiger, Lion, Snow Leopard, Puma, Jaguar, and Cheetah. IBCA would further strengthen global cooperation and efforts to conserve the wild denizens, especially the big cats.


  • Project Tiger –  successful conservation efforts:
    • Being the 50th year of Project Tiger, it is notable that governments, since 1973, have consistently devoted attention to ensuring that tigers — generally vulnerable to environmental degradation and extinct in several countries — continue to populate India’s forests.
    • Being able to ensure an increase in tiger numbers without relying on fenced reserves and by engaging the participation of forest-dwelling communities in conservation are distinct traits of India’s big cat conservation approach.
  • Challenges:
    • However, this does not mean that tiger numbers are ordained to grow in perpetuity.
    • The ‘Status of Tiger’ report warns that all of India’s five main tiger zones, while largely stable, face challenges of deforestation and loss of tiger habitat.
    • The Western Ghats, while one of the most biodiverse spots globally, also hosts some of India’s most populous tiger reserves.
    • In 2018, 871 unique tigers were photographed, but this time, only 824 were captured. Over the years, there is an increasing presence of tigers outside protected reserves.
    • In the case of the Western Ghats, however, these numbers are on the decline, with only populations within protected forests stable, the report says.
    • From nine tiger reserves in 1973 to 53 today, the increase in numbers has not translated to all of these reserves becoming suitable habitats for tigers.
    • Serious conservation efforts are needed to help, for instance, tiger population recovery in Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh.
    • Wildlife habitats here face various threats that include habitat encroachment, hunting, conflicts with humans, unregulated cattle grazing, excessive harvesting of non-timber forest products, fires, mining, and expanding infrastructure.
    • Experts have said India’s reserves, in their present state, ought to be able to sustain populations of up to 4,000, and with expanded efforts at improving fledgling reserves, these numbers can increase.
  • Conservation efforts and rights of forest-dwelling communities:
    • Care has to be taken to maintain the delicate balance between making the ground fertile for conservation and keeping the rights of forest-dwelling communities intact.
    • Showcasing conservation efforts ought not to come at the expense of ensuring the right to livelihood and dignified living of communities, who often live the closest to these majestic wild creatures.
    • The cheetah, the leopard, the lion and the tiger can co-exist in India only with the right incentives in place for all stakeholders.

Way Forward:

  • The success of Project Tiger is indeed inspiring. But the aforementioned challenges also need to be addressed in order to keep the population of all wild animals sustainable.

Please Share with maximum friends to support the Initiative.

Download the Samajho App

Join 5 lakh+ students in downloading PDF Notes for 2000+ Topics relevant for UPSC Civil Services Exam. &nbsp Samajho Android App: https://bit.ly/3H9hva1 Samajho iOS App: https://apple.co/3H8ZJE2 &nbsp Samajho IAS Youtube Channel (300K+ Subscribers): https://www.youtube.com/@SamajhoIAS