- The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has been constituted under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- NTCA has been at the forefront of tiger conservation work in India.
- It’s work domain extends from on the ground protection initiatives to science based monitoring of tigers and their habitat using latest technological tools, indepedent assesssement of tiger reserves with financial and technical support to tiger reserves, creating inviolate space for wildlife while ensuring community development to international co-operation are the few thrust areas of NTCA.
- The Government of India has taken a pioneering initiative for conserving its national animal, the tiger, by launching the “Project Tiger” in 1973.
- From 9 tiger reserves since its formative years, the Project Tiger coverage has increased to 51 at present, spread out in 18 of our tiger range states.
- This amounts to around 2.23% of the geographical area of our country.
- The tiger reserves are constituted on a core/buffer strategy.
- The core areas have the legal status of a national park or a sanctuary, whereas the buffer or peripheral areas are a mix of forest and non-forest land, managed as a multiple use area.
- The Project Tiger aims to foster an exclusive tiger agenda in the core areas of tiger reserves, with an inclusive people oriented agenda in the buffer.
- Project Tiger is an ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change providing central assistance to the tiger States for tiger conservation in designated tiger reserves.
Why Project Tiger?
- Tiger is chosen for conservation as it is the Keystone species which are vital to the health of their ecosystems.
- They provide ecosystem services like protecting farms from herbivores and small predators.
- When we protect tiger habitat, we preserve it for all resident species.
- Wildlife habitat can exist without Tigers but Tigers cannot exist without wildlife habitat.
- Therefore when Tiger is preserved wildlife habitat is preserved automatically.
- Tiger reserves provide intangible benefits such as carbon sequestration, water provisioning, water purification, climate regulation, gene pool protection, cultural heritage, spiritual tourism etc.,
- It also helps in the generation of employment, fodder, timber, fuelwood, non-timber forest produce and bamboo which are considered as tangible benefits.
- Climate change has been one of the most serious challenges and poses a significant threat.
- Poaching is another challenge for forests officials.
- Man-Animal conflict poses challenge in the conserving of Tigers.
- Natural disasters such as forest fires, flood, earthquakes is another challenge.
- Deforestation is also one of the challenges faced by Tigers as it destroys the habitation.
- Participative approach technique is to be followed for the successful management of tigers.
- Increased funding and allocation for Project Tiger.
- Strict enforcement should be undertaken against Poaching.
- Climate change which is an area of concern is to be addressed.
- Innovative methods should be encouraged and employed.