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How Madhya Pradesh came to be 'Tiger state of India'

The tiger census of 2022 put the population in the country between 3,682 and 3,925, out of which MP tops the list with 785 tigers followed by Karnataka (563), Uttarakhand (560) and Maharashtra(444) respectively.
Last Updated : 26 June 2024, 12:30 IST

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Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh continues to top the charts when it comes to the tiger population in the country. Among approximately 3,800 big cats in the wild, 785 of them are in Madhya Pradesh.

On this day in 1995, Madhya Pradesh had created history by recording the maximum number of tiger population.

Karnataka for a brief period between 2011 and 2018 had surpassed the central state for the most number of tigers.

The tiger census of 2022 put the population in the country between 3,682 and 3,925, out of which MP tops the list with 785 tigers followed by Karnataka (563), Uttarakhand (560) and Maharashtra(444)respectively.

According to estimates, Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand tops the list with 260 tigers amongst all the tiger reserves across the country. Bandhavgarh (135 tigers), Kanha (105 tigers), Pench (77) and Panna follow suit.

Other tiger reserves including Kaziranga (104), Sundarbans (100), Dudhwa (135), Tadoba (97), Satyamangalam (85), Mudumalai (Tamil Nadu), Bandipur (150), Nagarhole (141) also make sizable contribution in upping the population ranks. Efforts made by stakeholders including tribals and jungle dwellers besides forest officials who made remarkable progress has also led to conservation of big cat species.

The first tiger census was carried out in 1972 which recorded the tiger population as 1,827. The tiger population in India has faced severe threats due to habitat loss, poaching and human-wildlife conflict. India is home to a sizable tiger population, accounting for nearly 70 per cent of the global wild tiger population. This represents a significant increase from the population of 1,411 tigers in 2006, showcasing the success of various conservation efforts.

Significant efforts have now been made to reverse this trend. In the early 20th century, India had a robust tiger population, but by the 1970s, their numbers had dwindled alarmingly. In response, the government launched 'Project Tiger' in 1973, which aimed at creating a network of tiger reserves across the country to provide safe habitats for tigers and to curb poaching activities. Maintaining the ecological balance and biodiversity of India’s forests was also an objective of the project.

Madhya Pradesh has also a significant leopard and crocodile numbers and the state is also ahead in a count of vultures and wolves.

Expressing satisfaction with the overall performance of the conservation project, Head of Forest (HOF) Aseem Shrivastava said efforts are being made to create new habitats.

"Some of the existing ones have already reached optimal levels. More scientific and technical information is created for habitat management. Some of the NGOs like WWF (World wide fund) and WCI (world certification institute) engaged in facilitating efforts have also been roped in," he said.

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Published 26 June 2024, 12:30 IST

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