News Excerpt
The MoEF&CCreleased a report on Tiger Census on the eve of Global Tiger Day i.e. 29 July.

Pre-Connect
•    St. Petersburg declaration: The Heads of the Governments of Tiger Range countries at St. Petersburg, Russia, had resolved to double tiger numbers across their global range by 2022 by signing the St. Petersburg declaration on tiger conservation.
•    Project Tiger: It is an ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Changeproviding central assistance to the tiger States for tiger conservation in designated tiger reserves.
•    M-STrIPES:Monitoring System for Tigers-Intensive Protection and Ecological Status. It is used to estimate the population of tigers. It is GPS-enabled mobile app-based software that helps to capture data relating to tiger sightings, deaths, wildlife crime and ecological observations while patrolling.

Highlights
    This report assesses the status of tigers in terms of spatial occupancy and density of individual populations across India.
    The fourth cycle of National tiger status assessment of 2018-19 covered 381,400 km of forested habitats in 20 states of India.
    India’s tiger population now stands at 2967. India has 70% of world’s tiger population.
    The detailed report of the 4th All India Tiger Estimation is unique in the following ways;
o    Abundance index of co-predators and other species has been carried out which hitherto was restricted only to occupancy.
o    Sex ratio of tigers in all camera trap sites has been carried out for the first time.
o    Anthropogenic effects on tiger population have been elaborated in a detailed manner.
o    Tiger abundance within pockets in tiger reserves has been demonstrated for the first time.
    Tigers were observed to be increasing at a rate of 6% per annum in India when consistentlysampled areas were compared from 2006 to 2018.
    The report evaluates the status of habitat corridors connecting major tiger populations and highlights vulnerable areas that require conservation attention for each landscape
    LIDAR based survey technology is used for the first time. LIDAR is a method for measuring distances by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflection with a sensor.

Role of Tiger in Eco-System
    Keystone Species: Tigers, are the top predators in an ecosystem, and are vital in regulating and perpetuating ecological processes. Ensuring the conservation of this top carnivore guarantees the well-being of entire ecosystem and biodiversity.
    Tiger is an incredible part of the nature and their increased number reflects equilibrium.