Every year 29 July is celebrated across the world as Global Tiger Day to create awareness about tiger conservation and protection of natural habitat of tigers.
Why 29 July?
This is because 29 July act as a reminder of agreement signed by countries at Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia in 2010, to raise awareness about decline of global tiger population. Signatories declared an agreement that governments of tiger-populated countries would double animal’s population by 2022.
Tiger Conservation in India
Tigers are one of world’s most iconic species. Tigers are an ‘Umbrella Species’ as their conservation also conserves many other species in same area. Thus with initiative of conserving India’s national animal, Project Tiger was launched in 1973. Due to planned efforts under Project Tiger, at present India has distinction of having maximum number of tigers in world. The 2014 country level tiger assessment had shown a 30% increase of tigers i.e. from 1706 in 2010, tiger population has increased to 2226 in 2014. However, despite conservation efforts since 1970s, wild tiger populations showed a rapid decline therefore in 2010, during St. Petersburg Declaration, tiger range countries had resolved to double tiger numbers by 2022.
Significance: Observing World Tiger Day is significant because according to World Wildlife Fund (WWF), currently there are only around 3,900 wild tigers in world and as per reports, since the beginning of 20th century around 95% of global tiger population has been lost to various activities like poaching, etc.