Temple of the Emerald Buddha - Amazing Thailand

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Shahjahanabad (Const 1648 CE)- The Legacy of Delhi Series (Vol 8)

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Hill Fort of Kumbhalgarh, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

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The Immortal Kumbh Mela - Mahakumbha of 2013

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Guru Dongmar Lake, one of the highest in the world

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Monday, July 29, 2019

International Tiger Day 2019

Paw Print of a Tiger

A Trip to Remember

I have travelled to, and continue to travel (in spits and bursts, I have to admit) across India. I have been to three Tiger Reserves—Corbett, Sariska and Ranthambore. My first trip to Ranthambore though was a memorable one. I went as a part of a media group, on a FAM trip organised by Aircel for their Save Our Tigers campaign.

Learning about Tigers from the Specialists

In this trip, we got to see the good work done by Aircel (through their Save My Tigers campaign). We got to interact with the main forest officer of Ranthambore National Park and with Wildlife Specialist, Dr. Anish Andheria. It is during one such interaction with Dr. Andheria that I asked the question 'What was the tiger holding capacity of India's forests ?'. He thought for a moment and gave an estimate of 6000 tigers.

Tiger Numbers going up a cause for celebration

Yesterday (on International Tiger Day '19), the Prime Minister released the All India Tiger Estimation Report 2018. It stated that the number of Tigers in the country had reached 3000 (2967 to be precise). This leads to a sense of jubilation amongst the people and why not? The number of Tigers had dwindled to less than 1411 until 10 years ago. This was from a high of at least 20,000+ tigers at the turn of the century. So, it's a matter of celebration no doubt.

Sparing a thought for the lost gene pool

That said we cannot forget that, as a result of Tiger numbers going down, a vast gene pool of healthy tigers has been lost. The tigers of today carrying only the genes of the 1411 tigers who survived by 2008 into the future. They would not carry the genes of the more than 20,000+ tigers who were there at the turn of the century.

Forest Chowki inside Ranthambore National Park

The Challenges Ahead

So, coming back to the present, we must make efforts to double the tiger population of the country from 3000 to 6000. For that we need to deal with factors like Poaching (Sariska), construction of Tiger Corridors (so that Tigers can move from one sanctuary to another), Creation of new Tiger Reserves, etc. Work on Tiger conservation has to continue as this is a job, only half done!

Congratulations to the Conservators!
In the end, I would like to congratulate all the agencies and individuals involved in the tiger conservation program. They have worked hard to achieve this milestone! Great Job!