India is now home to at least 3,167 tigers, says the latest national tiger census summary report released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Mysuru, Karnataka on April 9.
The number of tigers has seen a jump of about 6.7 per cent from the last tiger census in 2018 when the census recorded 2,967 tigers. The number is increasing in comparison to other tiger-range countries, as people and wildlife have a long history of coexistence, said Prime Minister Modi while releasing the report.
As per the results of the 2022 tiger census – the fifth census after tiger population monitoring efforts began in 2006 – some areas like the Shivalik and Gangetic floodplains have recorded a “substantial” increase in minimum tiger populations, while the Western Ghats landscape and northeastern hills have witnessed a decline, says the census. It also highlighted the local extinction of tigers in areas like Kawal Tiger Reserve in Telangana.
The Central Indian and Eastern Ghats landscape is home to at least 1,161 tigers, also up from the last census (the estimate in 2018 was 1,033). Tiger occupancy in the Western Ghats landscape – spread over six states, including Karnataka – declined from estimated 981 tigers in 2018 to only 824 unique tigers captured in photographs in 2022. Though the estimated tiger numbers in the northeastern hills and Brahmaputra plains were 219 in 2018, the 2022 census photographed only 194 unique individuals in the region.
India estimates tiger numbers every four years, combining data from camera-trap-based surveys and sign surveys. The 2018 census made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest camera-trapping exercise in the world.