International Tiger Day 2022 is celebrated on 29 July to raise awareness about the rapidly declining tiger population in the world. This day encourages the work of conservation of tigers. The article gives information about International Tiger Day, its history, significance, and some facts about tigers.
International Tiger Day 2022: History, Significance, and Reasons for Declining Tiger Population
International Tiger Day 2022: The world celebrates International Tiger Day or Global Tiger Day on 29 July every year. International Tiger Day is celebrated to mark the declining population of tigers across the world. The decline occurred in the 20th century and fortunately, the number is rising again due to the continuous efforts of the people. India prepares tiger estimation reports every four years and the last report was released in 2018.
In 1973, Project Tiger was started in India which was a unique plan to save the tigers on earth. Since its initial years, there were 9 tiger reserves but the scope of the tiger project has increased to 50.
But according to WWF, there are about 3,900 wild tigers left in the world. Since the beginning of the 20th century, more than 95% of the world’s tiger population has been wiped out. It is said that throughout Asia, the snoring menace is a serious threat to wild tigers.
We cannot deny the fact that tigers are the largest species in the cat family and one of the most iconic animals on earth. About a century ago, there would have been more than 100,000 tigers roaming the earth.
An ambitious target was set by the government of 13 range countries to double the number of wild tigers by 2022, the next Chinese year of the tiger.
There is a famous quote “Where tigers thrive, it is a sign that the ecosystem is healthy”.
International Tiger Day: History
International Tiger Day was established in 2010 at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia to raise awareness of the decline in wild tiger numbers, leaving them on the verge of extinction, and to encourage tiger conservation work. At the summit, an announcement was made that the governments of tiger-populated countries had vowed to double the tiger population by 2020.
Several events are organized each year by animal organizations such as the WWF, IFAW, and the Smithsonian Institute.
Significance of International Tiger Day 2022
International Tiger Day was started in 2010 when the world learned that 97 percent of tigers had been extinct in the last century, with only an estimated 3,000 left. Since tigers were on the verge of extinction, many countries around the world signed an agreement to prevent the situation from worsening.
The aim of International Tiger Day 2022 is to protect and expand the habitats of tigers apart from conserving these species. International Tiger Day is celebrated by several international organizations, including organizations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and the Smithsonian Institution.
According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, the current population of tigers is 3,900. India is home to about 70 percent of the world’s tiger population.
Due to the declining population of tigers
1. Poaching and illegal trade: For traditional Chinese medicines, tigers face the problem of poaching because every part of the tiger’s body is in demand. In the illegal trade in wildlife, they hold high value.
2. Habitat loss: Nowadays and with the increasing population, the number of forests is decreasing. Deforestation due to various reasons like agriculture, industry, etc. has resulted in the loss of about 93% of the natural habitats of tigers.
3. Climate change: The Sunderbans, one of the habitats of the Royal Bengal Tigers, were wiped out due to the rise in sea level due to climate change.
4. Many diseases are also major factors. Many animals die and there is no way to ascertain the cause of their death. Some diseases cause epidemics such as feline panleukopenia, tuberculosis, etc.
5. The study conducted by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) at Ranthambore Tiger Reserve (RTR) states that the tiger population in the park has shown a loss of genetic diversity over the years.
6. Habitat degradation: Big cats want safe and disturbance-free habitats to survive, but there is a major threat to tigers due to many developmental activities in protected areas (PA) landscapes.
7. Human-animal conflict also affects the population of big cats.
8. Lack of security infrastructure.
9. Increasing day-by-day tourism is also a reason for the decline in the number of tigers.
International Tiger Day 2022: All India Tiger Estimation Report
According to the report released by the central government ‘All India Tiger Estimation Report 2018’, India has achieved its 2022 target of tiger population in the country. There are now 2,967 tigers in India. There has been an increase of 33 percent in the fourth cycle of the tiger census. India has achieved a target 4 years before the stipulated deadline. Nine years ago it was decided to double the tiger population in St Petersburg by 2022.
According to the census, Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of tigers at 526, followed by Karnataka with 524 and Uttarakhand with 442 tigers.
There has been a decline in the number of tigers in Chhattisgarh and Mizoram while the number of tigers in Odisha remained stable.
Note: In 2014, there were 692 protected areas, which increased to over 860 in 2019. The 33% increase in tiger numbers is the highest recorded between cycles, from 21% between 2006 and 2010 and 30% between 2010 and 2014. ,
Tigers are part of the natural heritage of our planet; They also have great cultural and historical importance. There is no doubt that they are also important to the ecosystem in which they live. We cannot ignore that tigers not only protect the forest by maintaining ecological integrity but also bring the highest level of protection and investment to an area. Therefore, we call them “umbrella species”, meaning that their conservation also protects many other species in the same area.
So, protect the tigers!