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In depth | The Tiger Project and India's success story

The latest national census for 2018-2019 counted close to 3,000 wild tigers, up from just over 1,411 in 2006. 

Tyger, Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night

William Blake's immortal poem on the fierce big cat. But the real ode to the tiger has been India's conservation story.

While the world struggled to save the striped beauties, India emerged as the beacon. Sample these numbers:

The country has been able to double its tiger population in just 12 years. 

The latest national census for 2018-2019 counted close to 3,000 wild tigers, up from just over 1,411 in 2006. 

India is currently home to 70 per cent of the global tiger population.

India has worked long and hard to perk up dwindling tiger numbers. 

Two hundred years ago, an estimated 58,000 tigers roamed India’s forests. 

But centuries of hunting and habitat destruction left fewer than 2,000 wild tigers by the 1970s. 

In 1973, the government declared the tiger India’s national animal. It banned hunting and set up a conservation scheme called Project Tiger.

At the time, there were only nine protected areas in the country. 

Today, there are 50 tiger reserves that cover a little over 28,000 square miles.

The Corbett Tiger Reserve in Uttarakhand has the highest number of 231 big cats in the country.

Nagarhole and Bandipur reserves in Karnataka with 127 and 126 tigers respectively while Assam's Kaziranga and Madhya Pradesh's Bandhavgarh recorded 104 tigers each.  Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan currently has over 60 big cats.

The spectre of a world without tigers led 13 nations to meet in 2010 in St Petersburg, Russia, where they declared that they would double their wild tiger numbers by 2022. 

But all except India, Nepal and Bhutan are struggling to save their tigers, even in protected reserves. 

Today, the World Wildlife Fund estimates that there about 3,900 wild tigers throughout Asia, with about 70% living in India.

This wonderful news comes after a century of population declines and is proof that solid conservation efforts can work.

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