International Tiger Day: Global Tiger Day, often called International Tiger Day, is an annual celebration to raise awareness for tiger conservation, held annually on 29 July.
- The day is observed to spread awareness about dangers faced by tigers.
- According to World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), “As top predators, wild tigers play an important role in maintaining the harmony of the planet’s ecosystems.
- By preying on herbivores, tigers help to keep the balance between the prey animals and the forest vegetation which they feed upon.”
- World Tiger Day was first observed in the year 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia.
- A total of thirteen tiger range countries came together and decided on a global goal to double the number of wild tigers by the year 2022.
- According to World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), there may have been 100,000 tigers at the beginning of the 20th century. The number was drastically reduced to 3,200 in the year 2010. Therefore, it becomes extremely important to save these wild cats.
- International Tiger Day plays an important role in it by spreading awareness and by working towards the conservation of tigers.
- The governments of all 13 tiger range countries came together at the world’s first-ever global tiger summit and agreed on a “TX2” commitment to double the number of wild tigers by 2022.
- Since then the tiger population has increased in several countries including India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Russia.
Project Tiger in India:
- In 1973, Project Tiger was started in India which was a unique plan to save tigers on the planet.
- Since its formative years, there were 9 tiger reserves but the Tiger Project coverage has increased to 50.
- The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR) and the Uttar Pradesh Forest department last year bagged the first-ever international award, TX2, for doubling the number of tigers in four years against a target of 10 years.
- India prepares the tiger estimation report every four years and the last report was released in 2018.
Royal Bengal Tiger:
- The Bengal tiger is also known as the Royal Bengal tiger.
- It is a tiger from a specific population of the Panthera tigris tigris subspecies that is native to the Indian subcontinent.
- Felis tigris was the scientific name used by Carl Linnaeus in 1758 for the tiger.
- It was subordinated to the genus Panthera by Reginald Innes Pocock in 1929.
- It is threatened by poaching, loss, and fragmentation of habitat.
- It was estimated at comprising fewer than 2,500 wild individuals by 2011.
- The Bengal tiger ranks among the biggest wild cats alive today.
- It is considered to belong to the world’s charismatic megafauna.
- By 2018, the population had increased to estimated 2,603–3,346 individuals.
- Around 300–500 tigers are estimated in Bangladesh, 220–274 tigers in Nepal, and 103 tigers in Bhutan.