India is known as the land of tigers and there is no denying this fact as it is home to the maximum number of tigers in the world. These are spread across its national Parks, wildlife sanctuaries and tiger reserves. The years between 2014 and 2018 reported a total of 2,461 tigers across India. But, according to the latest tiger census result for 2018, released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Global Tiger Day i.e., 29th June 2019, the tiger population in India has reached 2,967.
Of all the other states in India, Madhya Pradesh roars the loudest, with the numbers going up to 526 from 308 recorded in 2014. In addition to this, Karnataka, which has remained at the top of the list since 2010, has now slipped to the second position with 524 tigers. Uttarakhand came in third with 442 tigers.
In Case You Didn’t Know
Looking back to the last four years, Madhya Pradesh had a poor record in terms of tiger safety and conservation, with the increase in its tiger population being just 218. As per the report of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), India lost around 657 tigers in the years between 2012 and 2017, with Madhya Pradesh being hit the hardest by losing 141 tigers.
The report from wildlife group, Conservation Lenses and Wildlife (CLAW), states that Madhya Pradesh had seen a large number of tiger deaths between 2012-2016 owing to a variety of reasons, including natural deaths, electrocution, territorial fights, poisoning and more.
|Year||Tiger Deaths in MP as per CLAW|
Poaching, the Main Cause of Decline in Tiger Population in MP
Right after the establishment of the tiger reserves in the 80s, Madhya Pradesh gained popularity for being home to the largest number of big cats. However, with the gradual rise in poaching over the years, and Madhya Pradesh struggling to fight it, the tiger population began declining. However, with the continuous efforts of tiger conservation projects and initiatives like Project Tiger, Save the Tiger, and WWF working round the clock, Madhya Pradesh saw an increase in its tiger population and now boasts an impressive number of tigers.
The Growing Number of Tigers in MP
Madhya Pradesh, one of the top tiger states of India, has six tiger reserves including Panna, Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Satpura, Sanjay Dubri and Pench. The growing count of tigers in Madhya Pradesh has led these majestic cats to migrate to new habitats including Shahdol and Katni, close to the popular Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve; and Hoshangabad near Bhopal, Dewas and Barwa close to Indore; and Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary.
With a population of 526 Royal Bengal Tigers in Madhya Pradesh, the state has reclaimed the status of ‘tiger state.’ To some, it is a piece of good news, but for many, that number isn’t too encouraging, especially considering the fact that Madhya Pradesh had over 1 lakh tigers in the 19th Century. However, while revealing the Tiger Census 2018 Result on Global Tiger Day, PM Narendra Modi reaffirmed his commitment to save and conserve the tiger population in India.