Project Tiger in India: Features, Short Notes on Project Tiger

By Ritesh|Updated : July 29th, 2022

Project Tiger is a famous wildlife conservation program created in April 1973. It is aimed to conserve the Bengal Tiger population in their natural habitats. Nearly 75% of the wild tigers in the world are now found in India. According to a prior estimate based on the data gathered, there may have been as many as 50,000 tigers living in India alone at the start of the 20th century.

Project Tiger aimed to save the tigers by doing everything possible to save and protect them. By the 1960s, India's wildlife had reached an all-time low due to ongoing hunting, poaching, and habitat loss. The wildlife animals were not treated well, so came the need for a tiger protecting force from the government that would solve this issue and regain the tiger population. The Project Tiger is an essential conservation effort and is a crucial topic of the UPSC GS 2. Many questions have been asked regarding the developments and updates pertaining to Project Tiger.

Table of Content

What is Project Tiger?

Project Tiger is a centrally sponsored scheme that offers support to the tiger states for the conservation of the species of tiger in recognized tiger reserves. On April 1, 1973, the Indian government introduced Project Tiger to encourage tiger conservation. The project is the largest species conservation programme of its kind. This was created using Core-Buffer Strategy:

  • The buffer or periphery regions are a mixture of forest and non-forest land that is administered as a multiple-use area. It provides habitat supplement to wild animals and site-specific development to surrounding villages so that they don't impact the core areas.
  • The core portions have the legal status of a national park or a wildlife century for the conservation of tigers.

Download Short Notes on Project Tiger for UPSC Exam

History of Tiger Conservation

Around 1970, a team of scientists and conservationists put tension on the Indian government concerning the constant decline in the tiger population. As a result, the wildlife protection act was created in 1972, ending all hunting in India legally and establishing legal protection for targeted species.

  • Later, in 1973 Project Tiger was started, with Dr Kailash Sankhala serving as its first director.
  • The first tiger reserve in India was the Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve in Uttarakhand.
  • Eight additional tiger reserves were created totalling over 9115 square kilometres of forest area. This area has increased to 71,000 square kilometres to date, a significant improvement from its early days but still not nearly enough forest cover for a developing nation like India with a stunning and extensive natural heritage.
  • In India, there are currently 53 tiger reserves.

Objectives of Project Tiger

The important objectives of Project Tiger are listed below:

  • To make sure that anything limiting the habitats for tigers is avoided.
  • To maintain the equilibrium of the ecosystem, any harm done to these habitats should be rectified.
  • Continue to have a healthy Tiger population.

Tiger Task Force

A need for increased surveillance and an additional layer of protection was added in the year 2005. This was a result of widespread poaching and the development of powerful poaching networks by traffickers within India. The sudden disappearance of the tiger population in the famously endangered Sariska Tiger reserve in Rajasthan came to the attention of media and local conservationists. As a result, Indian Prime Minister Mr Manmohan Singh established the Tiger Task Force to strengthen the conservation of the country's national animal. The Tiger Task Force established the following criteria as the benchmark for all national tiger reserves:

  • Examining the numerous issues relating to the conservation of tigers and making recommendations for solutions.
  • Improving techniques for stopping the hunting of tigers and unlawful behaviour in wildlife reserves.
  • Improve the mechanism for accounting and predicting the tiger population.
  • Educating the indigenous locals who live in the reserves regarding tiger conservation and environmental protection.

Challenges in Conservation of Tigers

The following are challenges faced in the conservation of tigers in our country:

  • Ecosystem fragmentation
  • Providing tiger-exclusive territory to support its social dynamics
  • Safeguarding tigers against poaching and hunting
  • Resolving the tiger-human interface
  • Rehabilitating corridors, and winning the public‘s support
  • Offering environmentally sustainable solutions to the locals.

Tiger Census in India

  • The procedure for calculating the population of tigers in a selected area is called tiger census.
  • It takes place at regular intervals of time to understand how the tiger populations have improved and their population trends.
  • The readily used technique is referred to as the pugmarks census technique. Through this technique, the pugmark imprints of the tiger are taken into consideration and the tigers are identified based on it.
  • The latest techniques include camera trapping and DNA fingerprinting. In the process of camera trapping, the photographers capture the different tigers which are then identified based on the patterns of stripes on their bodies.
  • The advanced technique of DNA fingerprinting helps in the identification of tigers using their faecal matter.
  • M-STriPES (Monitoring system for tigers-intensive protection and ecological status) stripes is an advanced application-based monitoring approach that was launched in the year 2010.

Project Tiger UPSC

The UPSC GS II syllabus for the UPSC Exam includes a very important section on Project Tiger. To be informed of all the Project Tiger developments, it is critical to stay up-to-date on current affairs and the news, and the UPSC study material offered. For practice, you can also download the UPSC Question Papers.

Download Short Notes on Project Tiger for UPSC Exam

Project Tiger UPSC Previous Year Question

Question: Consider the following protected areas: [2012]

  1. Bandipur
  2. Bhitarkanika
  3. Manas
  4. Sunderbans

Which of the above are declared Tiger Reserves?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 1, 3 and 4 only
  3. 2, 3 and 4 only
  4. 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: B

Other Important UPSC Notes
Atal Pension YojanaArya Samaj
CommunalismDemographic Dividend
Mid Day Meal SchemeSecularism
Pegasus SpywarePolar Vortex
Temple Architecture in IndiaGulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
Ashgabat AgreementRock Edicts of Ashoka
Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)Contempt of Court in India
16 MahajanapadasNational Education Policy


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FAQs on Project Tiger

  • Project Tiger Scheme, also known as Project Tiger Yojana is a groundbreaking initiative to protect the tiger population, India’s national animal, started Project Tiger in 1973. In contrast to its early years when it was only present in nine states, Project Tiger today covers 53 tiger reserves in India, spread over 18 states where the tiger population is prevalent. This is equal to roughly 2.23% of the entire geographical area of our country.

  • Project Tiger Yojana was launched in 1973 by the Indira Gandhi government.

  • In response to extensive media coverage of the sudden disappearance of tigers from the Sariska wildlife reserve in 2005, India’s then Prime Minister swiftly launched the Tiger Task Force to strengthen the nation’s tiger conservation efforts. The extensive media coverage contributed to the misconception that the issue is common to all of India's significant national parks and that wildlife is the refuge.

  • The traditionally used method for counting the tigers in a given area is the pugmark method. In this technique, the pugmark imprints of tigers are observed and identified. In this way, the population of tigers can easily be detected.

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