Great News for Tigers in India—and a Cautionary Tale

Bengal tiger in Assam tiger reserve.
Young male tiger in India’s Kaziranga National Park, home to the world’s highest density of tigers. (Photograph by Steve Winter/National Geographic)

Talking Tigers: Part 10 of a 12-part series

Amidst frequent heartbreaking stories about disappearing tigers, today there is some great news. India’s latest census has counted 2,226 tigers, a whopping 30 percent jump from the 1,706 documented in 2011. The full details will be released in March.

Between 30 and 50 of those “new” tigers were found in areas not included in prior counts. But most of those gains came from within the best-protected reserves, illustrating what we know about tigers. They are a prolific, adaptable species. They thrive with just the basics: food, water and a large enough place to live. When you add boots-on-the-ground protection, strong laws, enforcement and careful monitoring, they bounce back.

One tiger reserve that has made a phenomenal comeback is Panna, in central India, which received an award today for excellent management. Given the park’s history, it’s quite remarkable. In 2009, Panna’s last tiger disappeared, poached out from under the noses of those supposedly protecting them. The tigers that were later translocated from other reserves have since bred successfully; today about 23 tigers live —> Read More Here


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