How The Tiger Census Estimated India Now Has 2,967 Tigers.
We were pleased to hear last month that the country’s tiger population has risen by 33% since 2014, signalling that tiger conservation is on the right track. We also need to be thankful to all those well-meaning critics across society who had cautioned in the late 1990s that tigers would go extinct from India by the turn of the 21st century unless the government took some urgent and bold steps. With 2,967 tigers, India now supports around 80% of the tigers occurring in the 13 Asia-Pacific tiger-range countries.
The new tiger estimation method has greatly evolved since it was first used in 2006, and is now more scientifically and statistically defensible, using contemporary animal abundance-assessment methodologies. Surveyors complemented this with a large number of camera-traps, GPS trackers and range-finders. This way, apart from counting tigers, surveyors have also estimated the populations of a number of co-predators and ungulate species throughout the country.
Indian wildlife conservationists keep discussing the used method with the recent tiger census – also because it included one year old tigers instead of 1,5 year olds.
This last addition can lead to an extra increase in tiger numbers, making the claim of doubling the tigers doubtful
We all wait for the moment the organisor of the All Indian Census 2018 – Wildlife Institute of India (WII) – will release the detailed report.