India is currently home to 70 per cent of the world’s tiger population in over 17 states and 50 sanctuaries across the country.
New Delhi: Environment minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday said India is still battling with poachers to conserve tigers in the country, but expressed hope that with collective effort, the number of big cats in the country would be doubled in the next five years.
India is currently home to 70 per cent of the world’s tiger population in over 17 states and 50 sanctuaries across the country. “We are still fighting against the poachers on a war footing. They (poachers) are foiling all our techniques. They develop techniques to overpower our systems. This is a big fight,” Vardhan said.
“We had over 1 lakh tigers a century ago, now are happy with just 2,226,” the minister said on the occasion of World Tiger Day. India is a part of the St Petersburg target, commonly referred to as the global wildlife conservation goal TX2, which aims to double the tiger numbers in the participating countries by 2022.
“Once the country is together in conserving tigers, we can achieve the target of doubling the tiger population by 2022,” he said. He said that it is a moral duty to conserve what the ancestors gave us and it can be achieved by involving our children into the process of tiger conservation. Mr Vardhan said that tiger-bearing forests play a mitigative role in combating climate change, besides the value of ecosystem services. He emphasised that the tiger is a symbol of a healthy environment and there can be no let-up in conservation efforts, as threats to the big cats remain ever persistent.
“Tiger conservation should be carried out every moment of the day and not celebrated merely as a one-day event,” he said.