India may relocate tigers to Cambodia
In a bid to increase the global tiger population and improve conservation efforts, tigers from India could be relocated to Cambodia. The decision to relocate tigers was agreed to in principle at a ministerial meeting in Delhi of 13 Asian nations with tiger populations. The tigers are to be moved from countries where they are thriving to nations where they are almost extinct.
Tiger: A magnificent animal
Panthera Tigris (Tiger) is the largest cat species, which can grow up to 11 feet and can weight close to 400 kgs. Tigers are apex predators that once roamed from Siberia in the East to Turkey in the West and Indonesia in the South. The tiger has a wide cultural appeal and is the national animal of India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Malaysia and South Korea.
Tiger population drops drastically
Over the past century, tigers have lost 93% of their habitat and are now restricted to 13 countries including India, Bangladesh, Russia, Nepal, etc. The tiger population has come down from 100,000 at the start of the 20th century to 3,200 in 2010 primarily due to poaching, destruction of habitat, deforestation, and development activities. Consequently, the tiger became an endangered species.
Why is tiger conservation so important?
Tigers are a charismatic megafauna i.e. animals with a widespread popular appeal that are used by environmentalists to achieve biodiversity conservation goals. Hence, tiger conservation has gained lot of appeal.
PM to inaugurate conference on tiger conservation
The 3rd Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation would kick start in New Delhi on 12th April 2016. The conference is a continuation of the Global Tiger Initiative, an effort for tiger conservation which started with the Tiger Summit in Russia in 2010. The conference gains importance as it is halfway point to Tx2 goal (a goal to double tiger population by 2022).
The 3rd Asia Ministerial Conference
More than 700 tiger experts, scientists, policymakers, managers, donors and other stakeholders would take part in the conference. It would also see the participation of ministers and officials from all tiger ranging countries (China, Bhutan, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, etc.). Issues ranging from landscape conservation, habitat management, tiger re-introduction, anti-poaching strategies, monitoring technologies, resource mobilisation, etc. would be discussed.
World tiger population rises after almost a century
For the first time in almost a century, the population of tigers has risen by 22% over 2010. The World Wildlife Fund and Global Tiger Forum estimates show that the population of big cats in the world has increased from 3,200 in 2010 to 3,890. The data was released ahead of the 3rd Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation to be held in India.
India, Russia, Nepal, Bhutan registered significant increase
The increase in tiger population has been attributed to various factors including enhanced protection, improved surveys, etc. India, Russia, Nepal and Bhutan are the main countries that contributed to the increase in the big cat population.