There was a time when tiger hunting was one of the preferred hobbies of the rich and influential people. Some companies even offered tiger hunting as part of the wildlife tourism. But things changed when the then Prime Minister of India Mrs. Indira Gandhi started the Project Tiger.
Project Tiger was launched by the Government of India in 1973.
Initially, the project tiger was launched in nine reserves of different States (Assam, Bihar, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal) over an area of approximately 14,000 sq. km.
In due course of time, the project coverage has expanded considerably to 50 tiger reserves (TR), encompassing an area of around 72749 sq km in 18 tiger States.
Out of this, 40145.03 sq km comes under notified core/ critical tiger habitats and 32603.72 sq km comes under buffer / peripheral habitats.
No human activity is permitted in core habitat, while indigenous people get to carry out livelihood related activities in buffer habitat.
In 2022, 54th tiger reserve in India was declared in Ranipur Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh.
In 2023, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the latest data on tiger population which grew to 3167 in 2022. This data also showed that India is the home of 75% of tigers of the world. It speaks about the success of Project Tiger in India.
National Tiger Conservation Authority is the body with responsibility of looking after Project Tiger. NTCA Website
Conservation Units under NTCA
- Eastern Ghats Conservation Unit
- Western Ghats Conservation Unit
- Central India Conservation Unit
- North-East Conservation Unit
- Sariska Conservation Unit
- Kaziranga Conservation Unit
- Shivalik Terai Conservation Unit
- Sunderbans Conservation Unit
Tiger is an umbrella species which ensures viable populations of other wild animals (co-predators, prey) and forest. Thus, tigers ensure the ecological viability of the entire area and habitat.
You have learnt in the lesson on ecosystem that big carnivores are essential to maintain the balance as they keep herbivore’s population under control.