New Delhi: A day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates a major tiger conservation meeting, wildlife groups today said that for the first time, there has
been an increase in the number of wildcats worldwide after decades of decline with India having more than half of these.
"The number of wild tigers has been revised to 3,890, based on the best available data," said WWF and the Global Tiger Forum (GTF). They said that this updated minimum figure, compiled from International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) data and the latest national tiger surveys, indicates an increase on the 2010 estimate of "as few as 3,200".
This increase, they said, can be attributed to multiple factors, including increases in tiger populations in India, Russia, Nepal and Bhutan, improved surveys and enhanced protection. The report comes a day before the Prime Minister inaugurates the third Asia Ministerial Conference on tiger conservation where tiger range countries will discuss key issues, including anti-poaching strategies.
"For the first time after decades of constant decline, tiger numbers are on the rise. This offers us great hope and shows that we can save species and their habitats when governments, local communities and conservationists work
together," said Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International.
The conference is the latest step in the Global Tiger Initiative process that began with the Tiger Summit in Russia in 2010 where governments agreed to the Tx2 goal to double wild tiger numbers by 2022. While India's tiger count stands at 2,226 according to the latest survey, Russia holds the second highest number of
wildcats at 433.
Indonesia has 371 tigers while Malaysia 250. Nepal, Thailand, Bangladesh and Bhutan have 198, 189, 106 and 103 tigers each, according to the data compiled by the wildlife groups. Other countries which have tigers are Myanmar, China and Laos. In 2014, tiger range governments agreed to announce a new
global tiger estimate by 2016, based on full, systematic national surveys.
However, not all countries have completed or published these surveys and the new minimum estimate of close to 3,900 tigers is based on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species account for tigers, updated for countries where national tiger surveys have taken place since the IUCN assessment....