04 Apr Project Tiger
This article covers “Daily Current Affairs for UPSC” and the topic is ‘Project Tiger’ which is in news, it covers the Environment” In GS-3; the following content has relevance for UPSC.
For Prelims: Project Tiger
For Mains: GS-3, Environment
Why in news: On Saturday, Bandipur celebrated 50 years as a Project Tiger Reserve, as it was on April 1, 1973, that then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi inaugurated the centerpiece conservation effort to stem the decreasing population of the big cat.
About Project Tiger
- Project Tiger was launched in Jim Corbett National Park, Uttrakhand in 1973 by the Government of India.
- The main objective of the project was to protect the endangered Bengal tiger species, which was facing extinction due to hunting, poaching, and habitat loss.
- Under the project, several tiger reserves were established across the country to protect the tiger population and their habitat.
- The project aimed to involve local communities in tiger conservation efforts and create awareness about the importance of wildlife conservation.
- M-STrIPES (Monitoring System for Tigers- Intense Protection and Ecological Status), a GPS-based law enforcement and ecological monitoring technology, was launched in 2010.
- It is assisting in the creation of a database of individual tigers so that seized body parts can be traced back to the tigers they belong to.
- The project has also helped to preserve the ecological balance in the forest areas and has contributed to the conservation of other species of plants and animals.
- Project Tiger is considered to be one of the most successful conservation initiatives in the world, and it has become a model for tiger conservation programs in other countries.
- The project has faced some challenges over the years, such as human-tiger conflict and poaching, but the government and conservation organizations continue to work towards the protection and conservation of tigers in India.
Key Details on Project Tiger
- According to the National Tiger Conservation Authority’s ‘Status of Tigers Co-predators and Prey in India, 2018’, there were 12 tigers in Bandipur when Project Tiger was established, and currently, there are 173 tigers using the park, including 126 tigers within the reserve.
- The project was implemented in several phases over the years, with the first phase covering nine tiger reserves. The project’s success can be attributed to the following factors:
- Involvement of Local Communities: The project involved local communities in the conservation efforts, creating awareness and educating them about the importance of preserving tigers and their habitat. This ensured their support and participation in the project.
- Creation of Protected Areas: The creation of protected areas helped in reducing human interference in the tiger’s habitat, providing them with a safe and secure environment for breeding and conservation.
- Strengthening Anti-poaching Measures: The project also aimed to strengthen anti-poaching measures to curb the illegal hunting of tigers and their prey. This was achieved through increased patrolling, training of forest officials, and the use of modern technology.
- Promotion of Eco-Tourism: The project also focused on promoting eco-tourism in the tiger reserves, creating a source of income for the local communities and generating funds for conservation efforts.
- The efforts of Project Tiger have borne fruit, with the tiger population in India increased from a mere 1,411 in 2006 to 2,967 in 2018, which accounts for 70% of the world’s tiger population. This success has not only led to the preservation of the Bengal tiger but also helped in the conservation of other species that share their habitat.
- More than fifty national parks have joined Project Tiger, and each park is making an equal effort to rescue endangered animals.
- Increasing four thousand tigers in the last five years is one of the project’s significant achievements.
- People have become more conscious of the animal problem and have taken action to prevent it from worsening.
- Several others were also employed as a result of Project Tiger.
About Bandipur Tiger Reserve
- Bandipur Tiger Reserve is located in the southern Indian state of Karnataka and is one of the most well-known tiger reserves in the country. It was declared a tiger reserve in 1974 as part of Project Tiger, aimed at protecting the endangered Bengal tiger species and their habitat.
- The reserve covers an area of about 874 square kilometers and is situated at the foothills of the Western Ghats. It is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including tigers, leopards, elephants, deer, wild dogs, sloth bears, and various bird species.
- The Bandipur Tiger Reserve is known for its successful conservation efforts, which have led to a significant increase in the tiger population in the area. According to the latest tiger census in 2018, there were 72 tigers in the reserve, which was a significant increase from the previous census.
- The reserve has several measures in place to protect tigers and their habitat, such as the deployment of anti-poaching patrols, monitoring of tiger movements through camera traps, and raising awareness among local communities about the importance of tiger conservation.
- In addition to conservation efforts, the Bandipur Tiger Reserve also promotes eco-tourism, offering visitors an opportunity to explore the forest and its wildlife. The reserve has several nature trails, safari options, and accommodation facilities to cater to tourists’ needs.
Overall, the Bandipur Tiger Reserve is a significant conservation success story, serving as a model for other reserves and contributing to the global effort to protect endangered species and their habitats.
About Wildlife Conservation Act, 1972
- The Wildlife Protection Act, of 1972 is an Indian legislation enacted to protect the country’s wildlife and their habitats. The act was enacted on August 21, 1972, and came into force on September 9, 1972. Its primary objective is to provide protection to wild animals and plants and prevent their hunting, poaching, and illegal trade.
- The act provides for the protection of specified fauna species and their habitats by imposing restrictions on hunting, poaching, and capturing animals, as well as buying, selling, or trading their products. The act also establishes protected areas, such as national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and conservation reserves, where hunting, poaching, and capturing animals are strictly prohibited.
- The Wildlife Protection Act, of 1972, also empowers the government to declare any area as a protected area or reserve forest for the conservation of wildlife. It also provides for the creation of a Central Zoo Authority and a State Zoo Authority for the regulation and management of zoos.
- The act also provides for the establishment of a Wildlife Crime Control Bureau to combat wildlife crime and impose penalties on violators. The penalties range from imprisonment and fines to forfeiture of property.
- Over the years, the Wildlife Protection Act, of 1972, has been amended several times to enhance its effectiveness and align it with changing conservation needs.
- The act has been instrumental in the conservation of various endangered and threatened species, such as the Bengal tiger, Indian rhinoceros, and Asiatic lion, among others, by providing them with legal protection and creating protected areas for their conservation.
Daily Current Affairs for UPSC
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