Indian tiger. Photo Credit: Charukesi RamaduraiAnimals India
Half a Century of Efforts Pay Off for the Mighty Tiger
This year marks the 50th anniversary of a program founded in India to save the emblematic tiger from extinction and today, the country is home to the only stable and growing tiger population in the world.
“Back when it started, nobody could have imagined that we would have more than 50 protected tiger reserves in this country,” says conservationist and wildlife tourism expert Amit Sankhala. “Once you save the tiger, you save everything around it. Suddenly all of nature comes back to life.”
Founded in 1973, Project Tiger has 53 tiger reserves across 18 states, accounting for 2.4% of India’s total land dedicated to the survival of the mighty cat. It has at its disposal modern tools like camera traps to track tigers, but also a large community committed to conservation. The program’s new chapter is to expand tiger-dedicated spaces, facilitate access to sustainable wildlife tourism, and increase the tiger population. The latest census should be over 3,000 big cats. Project Elephant and Project Dolphin – founded respectively in 1992 and 2021 – are modeled directly after Project Tiger, and the tiger’s success story gives hope for India’s wildlife.