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Wild tiger population reportedly on the increase in India

Reporter: Shweta Bajaj 丨 CCTV.com

04-25-2016 19:34 BJT

For the first time in a century, the global wild tiger population has reportedly gone up, and India is leading the way. But despite the good news, wildlife officials say there’s a long way to go before the species is out of danger.

It’s taken 100 years, but the decline in the number of wild tigers in the world has ended at least for now.

A survey by the World Wildlife Fund and the Global Tiger Forum estimates there are nearly 39-hundred tigers around the world. It was 32-hundred six years ago.

70 percent or about 2,500 of them are in India.

Doctor Sejal Worah is the Program Director of World Wildlife Fund India…She says it’s important  the momentum continue…

"I think the first thing we did was recognize the seriousness of the problem and act with seriousness. We also put in place the mechanism immediately, both in terms of finance because there was the need to really beef up the security, there was a need to beef up intelligence," Worah said.

The rise in India’s tiger population is a result of a public/private project started in the early 1970’s. It included creating an environment to improve tiger breeding.

"You need the government, you need the civil society and mix of the two, because when tigers multiply, they enter into a landscape which people don't support," said Rajesh Gopal/global tiger forum.

Despite the turnaround, the outlook for sustaining the tiger population is not out of the woods yet.

India recently hosted a conference on tiger conservation involving 13 countries.

Officials say one of their long term goals in addition to funding is recognizing the value of tiger habitats, involving governments at the highest levels and technology.

"Years of protection can be wiped out in a few months if you take your eye of the ball. So, I think we should think again, we have given protection, but we need to keep it going because again as numbers increase, it becomes easier for poachers," Worah said.
The goal is to double the tiger population around the world in the next six years… while also raising conservation awareness at the same time.

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