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International Tiger Day 2020: Here’s Some Interesting Facts About the Big Wild Cats

Pritam Kashyap
Pritam Kashyap
tiger

International Tiger Day is held on July 29 every year and was started in the year 2010 after the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit; Petersburg, Russia. All 13 Tiger Range Nations participated in this summit. Apart from India, it included Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam. India is moving fast towards the target set in 2010. In eight years, the tiger population grew by 74%. The Summit was held to raise awareness about the sharp decline in the number of wild tigers, leaving them on the brink of extinction and how we can save them. 

About 70 per cent of the world's tiger population lives in India. According to the data released by the Ministry of Environment, there are 2967 tigers in the country, while there are only 3900 tigers left in the whole world. 

Project Tiger was launched in April 1973 by Indira Gandhi government and has been a success story despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges of poaching, loss of habitat, human and wildlife conflict and climate change.  Today, India has 50 reserves having 2967 tigers. Tiger sits at the peak of the food chain and the increased numbers are a testimony of the robust bio-diversity. 

Jim Corbett national park in Uttarakhand is the largest habitat of the big cats (231 in number) in India. Piyush Goyal, Union Railways and Commerce and Industry Minister tweeted that “Balancing between modernisation and conservation, PM has been on the forefront to save tigers our national and cultural heritage. On International Tiger Day, let us take a pledge to raise awareness for conservation of our national animal”. 

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Even the survey on tigers in 2018 in India has been recorded in the Guinness World Record. All India Tiger Estimation has proved to be the world's largest survey on tigers. This survey was done in 1 lakh 21 thousand 337 square km. In this, cameras were installed at different locations in 26 thousand 760 places. Over 3.5 crore photographs of wildlife were taken from them. Of these, 76 thousand 651 photos are of tiger and 51 thousand 777 are of leopard. 

Tigers are the largest cat species in the world and the third-largest carnivore on land and an adult Siberian tiger (the largest subspecies) can weigh up to 660 pounds whereas the Sumatran tiger is the smallest, with males only weighing up to 310 pounds. (Source: animalplanet.com) 

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