Mother Nature truly is a beautiful thing - and today, we've actually had some good environmental news. The tiger population of India has doubled in the last 12 years, suggesting they may be saved from extinction...
The animal kingdom is the home to many majestic creatures...And it has to be said that the most majestic of them all has to be the big cat.
There are many species of big cats all around the world...But there is one in particular that stands out as one of the most beautiful animals out there.
And that is the Bengal Tiger.This beautiful cat is native to the Indian subcontinent, and it is one of the biggest wild cats that are alive today.
They are recognized for their stunning fur...But it is a sad reality that their fur is the thing that makes them such a big target to poachers.
Poaching is one of the most immediate threats to these big cats...Tigers are illegally killed or poached because their pelts (fur) are valuable on the black market. Poaching is directed by increasingly sophisticated and well-armed criminal gangs and is estimated to be worth around $20 billion per year.
Over the last decade...1,000 tigers have been killed purely for their fur - that's around twenty percent of all tigers. A heartbreaking statistic that truly impacted the overall population of the big cat.
However, there is a glimmer of hope...According to the BBC, the tiger population in India has been consistently growing in recent years, with the figure rising nearly a third from 2,226 to 2,967 from 2014 to 2019.
India was estimated to be the home of seventy percent of tigers...In July last year, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his country is "now one of the biggest and most secure habitats of the tiger."
This is a huge conservation success for the country...This is after 80,000 tigers were believed to be killed in India between 1875 and 1925 alone, as a result of bounty and sports hunting.
The country now has strict laws surrounding its native animals...In 1972 a strict wildlife protection law was implemented, making it almost completely illegal to kill or capture wild animals, even if they’re regarded as "problem animals."
It is super important that these animals are protected...Indian officials also invested in more forest guards and improved protection reserves after pressure from conservationists all over the globe.
The fear of extinction is always there, however...So spotting one of these beautiful animals in the wild is a true blessing.
Well, yesterday was International Tiger Day.
And many Indian leaders took to Twitter to praise the beautiful animal.
On International Tiger Day today, let us spread greater awareness on the importance of protecting tigers and the cr… https://t.co/uMDcDWoVjh— Vice President of India (@Vice President of India)1595985911.0
And there was an exciting announcement.The population of wild tigers in India's Project Tiger has doubled from 1,411 to 2,967.
This increase was measured between 2006 and 2018.Which is an absolutely monumental increase.
The reserves make up more than 60% of India's tiger population."Despite India’s constraint of 2.5% of global land, 4% of rainfall and 16 % of world’s human population, India is home to 8% of world’s biodiversity, which includes 70% of the world’s tiger population," explained India's environmental minister.
Many of India's most powerful people have spoken out.
The day was seen as a huge marker of their successes.
Project Tiger was launched in 1973 with just 9 tiger reserves. Today, India has 50 reserves having 2967 tigers. Tig… https://t.co/EcireyRlTT— Prakash Javadekar (@Prakash Javadekar)1595992937.0
Finally, some good news.
We don't want to imagine a world without tigers.
Balancing between modernisation & conservation, PM @NarendraModi ji has been on the forefront to save tigers - our… https://t.co/ZN9kPS9kOS— Piyush Goyal (@Piyush Goyal)1595989879.0
Huge congratulations to all involved.
It's so nice to hear some good news with all the terrors we're currently facing!
On #InternationalTigerDay, the world lauds India’s momentous success in doubling tiger population in 12 years. I co… https://t.co/0UeOuwvvtq— President of India (@President of India)1596006861.0