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Tigers make a comeback in India’s Sunderbans

Uncategorized By Apr 23, 2023

Conservation efforts by the Indian government and non-governmental organisations have helped Bengal tigers in India’s Sunderbans islands rebound and increase in number from 270 in 2006 to 318. Among measures implemented were anti-poaching policies, awareness campaigns and the creation of safe habitats for the¬†animals, which are the largest population of Bengal tigers in the world. However, challenges remain. One such obstacle is the availability of a prey base for the tigers, which has shrunk due to overfishing, with the animals turning to livestock as an alternative. Environmental degradation brought on by climate change also poses a threat to¬†the tigers’ habitat.

Tigers make a comeback in India’s Sunderbans

Tigers are one of the most majestic animals in the world. They are also one of the most endangered. But, in the Sunderbans, a group of islands in eastern India, tigers are making a comeback. Thanks to conservation efforts, this once dwindling population is now on the rise.

Sunderbans is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to the world’s largest population of Bengal tigers. It is a vast area of mangrove forests and tidal creeks, spread over 4,000 square miles. The region, situated on the border of Bangladesh and India, has seen several tigers killed due to poaching, human and animal conflict and habitat destruction. However, the situation has improved significantly in the recent past.

Conservation success story

In 2006, a tiger census in Sunderbans revealed that there were only 270 tigers left, while the figure has now risen to 318, a significant increase. The credit for this success goes to the conservation efforts by the government and non-governmental organizations, which initiated several policies, awareness campaigns and anti-poaching measures.

Several organizations like the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve, the Zoological Survey of India, and the Wildlife Institute of India have been actively involved in tiger conservation in the Sunderbans. They have been working towards creating a safe habitat for the tigers, raising awareness among the local population about the importance of conservation, and monitoring the tiger population in the region.

Under the Project Tiger initiative, India has declared several areas as protected tiger reserves, and the Sunderbans is one of them. The government has also provided compensation to farmers for damage caused by tigers and initiated several social welfare programs for local communities. All these efforts combined have led to a significant increase in the tiger population in the region.

Challenges for tiger conservation

While the situation has improved, the challenges for tiger conservation in the region persist. One of the significant issues is the availability of a sufficient prey base for the tigers. Tigers prey on animals like deer, wild boar, and water buffalo, but due to overfishing and poaching of fish and crabs, the prey base has decreased. This has led to tigers attacking domestic livestock, increasing human-animal conflict in the region.

Moreover, the Sunderbans is also vulnerable to environmental degradation due to climate change. Rising sea levels, increased salinity in the soil, and unpredictable weather patterns pose a significant threat to the ecosystem, including the tiger population in the region. Therefore, there is an urgent need for more effective measures to mitigate these challenges and ensure the long-term survival of the tigers in the Sunderbans.

FAQs

Q. What is Sunderbans?

A. Sunderbans is a group of islands in eastern India, which is home to the world’s largest population of Bengal tigers.

Q. Why are tigers endangered?

A. Tigers are endangered due to habitat loss, poaching, and human-animal conflict.

Q. What is the tiger population in the Sunderbans?

A. In 2006, a tiger census in Sunderbans revealed that there were only 270 tigers left, while the figure has now risen to 318.

Q. What are the challenges for tiger conservation in the Sunderbans?

A. One of the significant issues is the availability of a sufficient prey base for the tigers. Moreover, the Sunderbans is also vulnerable to environmental degradation due to climate change.

Q. What are the measures taken for tiger conservation in the Sunderbans?

A. Several organizations have been actively involved in tiger conservation in the Sunderbans. They have been working towards creating a safe habitat for the tigers, raising awareness among the local population about the importance of conservation, and monitoring the tiger population in the region. India has also declared several areas as protected tiger reserves, and the government has provided compensation to farmers for damage caused by tigers and initiated several social welfare programs for local communities.

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