India is embarking on a tiger census that is to be the biggest survey of wildlife in the world
Significantly, tiger numbers in India are rising, with scientists expecting the census to chart a steady increase in the past decade
The census, done every four years, is to involve 38,000 forestry officials and zoologists spanning 155,000 square miles of terrain, with 14,000 camera traps laid out across 18 states.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and the Wildlife Institute of India, will oversee the census. It has also been announced that ground staff involved in the count would for the first time ever be co-ordinated using a mobile app, called M-STrIPES.
The first ever census in 2006 recorded India’s tiger population at 1,411. The number rose to 1,706 in 2010 and 2,226 in 2014, largely due to tougher anti-poaching laws, new conservation initiatives and improved counting techniques. It is hardly surprising then that India has about 70 per cent of the world’s wild tiger population.