India this week announced some amazing news: The country’s wild tiger populations have increased by 30 percent in just the past four years. Buoyed by intense conservation efforts, India is now reportedly home to an estimated 2,967 Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris).
To put this in context, India’s tiger population was estimated at 2,226 in 2016, when the wild population of all tiger subspecies was placed at 3,890. That was a big increase over 2010’s estimate, which placed the world population at just 3,200 after several years of rampant poaching for the animals’ skins and body parts, which are all too often used in traditional Asian medicine.
India credited increased monitoring and stricter wildlife policies for the population increase, which puts the country four years head of its goal to double its wild tiger populations.