Guwahati: Good news for wildlife lovers. Assam is presently home to 190 of India’s 2,967 tigers. On the occasion of Global Tiger Day, the All India Tiger Estimation 2018 survey report was released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on July 29th, 2019.
Assam was home to 143 tigers in 2010 followed by 167 in 2014 but this year saw a good increase in the number of tigers. Assam forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya took to Twitter to express his joy “with the data on the impressive increase in the number of tigers in Assam”.
Assam has four tiger reserves out of the forty-nine in the entire country. The Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park, the smallest national park in Assam, was declared a tiger reserve in the year 2016, the other three being Manas, Kaziranga and Nameri.
According to the latest tiger census data, India is now home to nearly 3,000 tigers, a third more than it had four years ago. Modi said that India is one of the safest habitats in the world for the big cats.
India conducts the All India Tiger Estimation every four years. Three cycles of the estimation have already been completed in 2006, 2010 and 2014.
Madhya Pradesh saw the highest number of tigers at 526, closely followed by Karnataka at 524 with Uttarakhand at number 3 with 442 tigers. Whereas, Chhatisgarh and Mizoram saw a decline in their tiger numbers while tiger’s numbers in Odisha remained constant, stated a PIB press communique.
The 33 per cent rise in tiger numbers is the highest ever recorded between cycles which stood at 21 per cent between 2006 to 2010 and 30% between 2010 and 2014. The rise in tiger numbers was in conformity with the average annual growth rate of tigers since, 2006, stated the press communique.
During the 4th cycle, in sync with Government of India’s ‘Digital India’ initiative, data was collected using an Android-based application- M-STrIPES ( Monitoring system for Tigers’ Intensive Protection and Ecological Status) and analyzed on the applications’ desktop module.
The application greatly eased out an analysis of a large quantum of data that was collected over nearly 15 months involving a survey of 381,400 sq.km. of forested habitats, 522,996 km of walk by State Forest officials, laying of 317,958 habitat plots, totalling a human investment of 5, 93,882 man-days.
Besides cameras were placed in 26760 locations which gave a total of 35 million images of wildlife including 76523 images of tigers. Segregation of these images was possible in a short time because of the use of artificial intelligence software, stated a PIB press communique.