- While conservation efforts are aimed at increasing the tiger count in India, global experts and officials in the government suggest that India must also prepare for a new challenge — of reaching the limits of its management capacity.
- Officially, India had 2,226 tigers as of 2014. An ongoing census is expected to reveal an update to these numbers. But Rajesh Gopal, head of the Global Tiger Forum, said that India’s current capacity to host tigers ranged from 2,500-3,000 tigers.
- Moreover, said another official, 25-35% of India’s tigers now lived outside protected reserves.
Dwindling core forest:
- With dwindling core forest as well as the shrinking of tiger corridors (strips of land that allow tigers to move unfettered across diverse habitat), officials said there were several challenges — alongside the traditional challenges of poaching and man-animal conflict — to India’s success at tiger conservation. Recent attempts at translocating tigers to unpopulated reserves, such as Satkosia in Orissa, have ended badly, with one of the tigers dying.