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Indian Express

6- January-2024

1. The Revival of the Tiger

Topic: GS3 – Environment- ConservationsImportant species

This topic is not much relevant in the context of Prelims but more for Mains in the context of various dimensions of wildlife conservation.

Context:

  • The success of conservation at India’s Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) is covered in the article.
  • The number of tigers in CTR has increased significantly over the last four years, making it the reserve with the highest density of wild tigers in the world.
  • The historical background, difficulties, community involvement, and financial activities related to wildlife conservation at CTR are all covered in the analysis.
  • The success story demonstrates successful conservation tactics and emphasises the need of strategic planning and community involvement in upholding a precarious balance between the protection of wildlife and human activity.

Historical Perspective:

  • India has a long and varied history of conservation, especially in the areas of forests and animals.
  • Preservation of biodiversity is greatly aided by the administration of tiger reserves, which is overseen under the Tiger Conservation Plan.
  • One such example is the 1288.31 sq. km. Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR), which is spread over three districts in Uttarakhand.

Tiger Population Growth:

  • The number of tigers in CTR has increased dramatically during the last four years.
  • With 260 tigers expected in 2022, the reserve will have the greatest number of wild tigers worldwide, up from 231 in 2018.
  • This result demonstrates the efficacy of conservation methods and represents a healthy forest and ecology.

Rich Biodiversity and Ecotourism Potential:

  • Because of its extremely biodiverse habitat, CTR draws tourists, conservationists, animal enthusiasts, bird experts, and researchers.
  • The lush surroundings of the reserve provide an eco-spiritual experience, and tourists are captivated by the tigers’ imposing presence.
  • Local villagers benefit from the success of ecotourism in the tiger’s habitat by way of jobs.

Challenges and Human-Wildlife Conflict:

  • Conflicts between people and wildlife are one of the main obstacles that remain in the face of conservation successes.
  • Conflicts are more likely when there are more tigers.
  • Villagers who are close to the reserve encounter difficulties, such as dangers to their agriculture and safety.
  • To address these problems, the forest department has put in place strategies like electronic eye patrols and community projects.

Importance of Wildlife Corridors:

  • To ensure the sustainable maintenance of current forest sections, avoid inbreeding, and promote gene pool flow between tigers and elephants, strategically located wildlife corridors are essential.
  • Animal mobility is hindered by habitat fragmentation and human activity; therefore, underpasses, overbridges, and corridors must be built to allow animals to move freely.

Community Engagement and Economic Initiatives:

  • Involving the community is essential to effective conservation.
  • Beehive fencing projects and the “Living with Tigers” programme are examples of initiatives that include local stakeholders in protecting crops and educating the public about conflicts between humans and wildlife.
  • Economic projects that are overseen by local committees, like the “Corbee Honey” brand, are prime examples of cooperative methods that benefit both parties.

Cultural and Conservation Significance:

  • In India, the tiger is deeply ingrained in mythology and culture.
  • The success of CTR, intertwined with narratives from history, culture, politics, and anthropology, represents a cultural comeback for conservation ethics and principles.
  • The future of the reserve is closely related to the health of the local population and animals

Conclusion:

  • The accomplishments of CTR serve as an excellent example of the efficacy of many conservation strategies, highlighting the necessity of ongoing community involvement, strategic planning, and sustainable practices in order to guarantee the coexistence of wildlife and human populations.

About Project Tiger and National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)

  • In an effort to conserve the tiger, our national animal, Project Tiger was started in 1973 and included nine tiger reserves.
  • There are now 50 Project Tiger sites, dispersed over 18 states with tiger ranges.
  • The core/buffer technique is used to create the tiger reserves. While the buffer or surrounding regions are managed as mixed use areas and contain a mix of forest and non-forest land, the core portions are legally classified as national parks or sanctuaries.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change is now running a Centrally Sponsored Scheme that gives the Tiger States central support for tiger protection in tiger reserves.
  • The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 assigns the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), a statutory agency of the Ministry, broad supervisory and coordination powers.
  • In 2005, the NTCA was established in accordance with the Tiger Task Force’s recommendations.
  • With the 2006 modification of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, it was granted statutory protection.

M-STrIPES

  • The NTCA introduced M-STrIPES, an app-based monitoring system, throughout Indian tiger reserves in 2010.
  • It stands for Monitoring System for Tigers – Intensive Protection and Ecological Status.
  • Field managers would be able to support patrol intensity and coverage in a geographic information system (GIS) domain with the help of this system.

 

PYQ: Among the following Tiger Reserves, which one has the largest area under “Critical Tiger Habitat”? (2020)

(a) Corbett

(b) Ranthambore

(c) Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam

(d) Sundarbans

 

Ans: (c)

Practice Question: Evaluate the significance of wildlife corridors and habitat management in ensuring sustainable coexistence between humans and wildlife. Discuss the broader implications of CTR’s conservation success for the overall wildlife conservation scenario in India. (250 words/15 m)

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