International Tiger Day is observed on July 29 annually to create public awareness about tiger conservation.
About International Tiger Day
- The date July 29 is historic because on this day several countries signed the agreement in the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit, which was held in Russia in 2010.
- During the same summit 13 tiger range countries came together to create Tx2 – the global goal to double the number of wild tigers by the year 2022.
- It aims to promote a global system for protecting the natural habitats of tigers and to raise public awareness and support for tiger conservation issues.
- This year’s theme: “Their Survival is in our hands”.
- Russia will host the Global Tiger Summit in September 2022.
India’s Tiger conservation effort
- India has around 70% of the global tiger population.
- India has successfully doubled the tiger population ahead of the 2022 target.
- 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.
Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CA|TS) scheme
- India, where most wild tigers live, has recorded a rise in numbers and is celebrating the approval of 14 sites under the Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CA|TS) scheme.
- CA|TS has been agreed upon as an accreditation tool by the global coalition of Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) and has been developed by tiger and protected area experts.
- Officially launched in 2013, it sets minimum standards for effective management of target species and encourages assessment of these standards in relevant conservation areas.
- CA|TS is a set of criteria which allows tiger sites to check if their management will lead to successful tiger conservation.
- The scheme sets standards to manage species, and benchmark conservation progress.
- There are currently more than 100 sites registered with CA|TS globally, covering more than 70% of the global tiger population.
14 Tiger reserves under CA/TS in India
The 14 tiger reserves which have been accredited are Manas, Kaziranga and Orang in Assam, Satpura, Kanha and Panna in Madhya Pradesh, Pench in Maharashtra, Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar, Dudhwa in Uttar Pradesh,Sunderbans in West Bengal, Parambikulam in Kerala, Bandipur Tiger Reserve of Karnataka and Mudumalai and Anamalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu.
- Project Tiger is a tiger conservation programme launched in April 1973 by the Government of India.
- As the Bengal Tiger is the national animal of India, this project aims to stem the dwindling population of the big cats and work to increase their numbers.
- The project aims at ensuring a viable population of Bengal tigers in their natural habitats, protecting them from extinction
So far, these four species of tiger, including Bali Tiger, Caspian Tiger, Javan Tiger, and Tiger Hybrids are extinct. Following are subspecies of Tigers:
- Sumatran Tiger:
- The Sumatran tiger is a population of Panthera tigris sondaica on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
- This population was listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
- Sumatran tigers are the smallest tiger subspecies.
- Amur/Siberian Tiger: Amur tigers (also known as Siberian, Manchurian, Ussurian, or Northeast China tigers) are the largest of the tiger subspecies.
- Bengal(Indian)Tiger: The most numerous of the tiger species, the Bengal tiger is found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.
- South China Tiger: Found in central and eastern China, the South China tiger is listed as Critically Endangered on IUCN list.
- Malayan Tiger: The Malayan tiger was only identified as being a separate subspecies from the Indochinese tiger in 2004. It is very similar to the Indochinese tiger, but is smaller in size.
- Indo-Chinese Tiger:
- Also known as Corbett’s tiger, after British hunter and naturalist Jim Corbett, this subspecies is found in Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand, and Vietnam and formerly in China.
- They are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List.
- Indo-Chinese tigers are a bit smaller and darker than Bengal tigers, with shorter, narrower stripes.
- Bali Tiger: One of the three extinct subspecies of tiger, the Bali tiger went extinct in the 1940’s.
- Javan Tiger: This now-extinct species inhabited the Indonesian island of Java into the 1980’s.
- The Caspian Tiger: The Caspian tiger (also called the Hyrcanian tiger or Turan tiger) became extinct in the 1970’s.