The wild tiger population in India has jumped from 1,706 to an estimated 2,226 since 2011, marking a 30 percent increase in numbers for the endangered big cat. As a result, India is now home to around 70 percent of the world’s tigers. That’s much better than good news; it’s downright spectacular.
India’s Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar applauded the government’s conservation efforts for allowing the tiger population to flourish. He is hopeful that other nations will follow their example and institute some of the same programs that have proven successful in India, in a larger effort to save tigers worldwide. Javadekar even suggested that India might donate tiger cubs to help populations grow elsewhere on the globe.
Despite the significant rise in the wild tiger population, there are still many threats against the tigers, and activists continue to caution that their habitats need protection. Although India’s government has been hard at work to aid the big cats in repopulating, tigers haven’t been so lucky elsewhere. In China, for example, tigers are actually being farmed and slaughtered for their parts, and the government has done little to stop it.
In India, wildlife conservationists warn that the tiger population may be larger, but it’s no more stable than it was prior to the increase. They recognize the need for protecting breeding tigresses and ensuring that tigers have abundant prey on which to feed. With the right systems in place, it’s estimated that the natural wild tiger habitat in India can support as many as 10,000 tigers. Hopefully, someday, those tigers will be around to enjoy it.