In the beginning of the 1970s, once tiger hunting had officially been
banned in India, a tiger counting was done around the entire country. This
lead to the shocking and threatening discovery that only 1800 specimens of
this majestic creature were existing. This shook the concerned authorities
and some serious thought started masterminding plans to save the tiger. The
conclusion was the launch of "Project Tiger" in 1972 at the
Dhikala Forest Rest House in Corbett National Park. The prime aim behind the
project was to provide safe and secure shelters for tigers where they could
grow and generate as a species and comfortably reverse the threatening
decline in their population. The project initially had 9 parks that were
chosen for it's enforcement. This number has slowly risen and a total of 19
parks are now attached to the project. The project was begun in
collaboration with and still receives its main funding from the WWF.
Although the experts say that the project has its shortcomings, the
increment in the populations of the tiger is clearly noticeable to even the
common man. Many experts had forecasted that the tiger would be extinct by
the end of the century, but, whoever may be responsible, the tiger has
boastfully proved them wrong. Tiger population may not still be in excellent
numbers and poaching still may be a uncontrolled, but a lot more effort is
being put into saving and protecting this elusive animal. This is fruitful
for the entire natural stock of the country because if the tiger flourishes,
so will the jungle and vice-versa.
Present Condition of Project
Project Tiger carries out some very noteworthy work and was unquestionably
the best thing to happen for the Bengal subspecies. It is also authenticated
to be scientifically sound, something which was heavily doubted during its
establishment. The number of tiger reserves have gradually risen from the
initial 9 to 19, and in recent times up to a total of 23. These presently
cover an area of approximately 33,000 square kilometres.
Overall, the aims and objectives remain much the same as at the foundation
of the Project Tiger. Currently the important objectives comprises of the
rehabilitation and relocation of villagers from inside protected areas to
outside protected areas. This will lessen conflict between the tiger and the
The Struggle Continues
It is regarded enormously important that the Indian Government provide the
Bengal tiger with more much-required protection and care.
Many of the things documentation and ethics remain out of control and
conservationists are watching in dismay as tiger numbers once again steadily
Today, the Government spends about US $ 75 million per year in an effort to
ensure the survival of the Bengal tiger. Yet this amount is less than ideal.
Rangers are desperately short of equipment. Items such as boots, even
second-hand ones, and binoculars, are on the much-needed list. Things are so
desperate that some staff are stranded at guard posts instead of being able
to carry out the routine patrols so necessary to preventing an increase in
Though the Project Tiger ethics once saved the tiger from extinction, today
the adverse truth is Project Tiger faces some major problems and the Bengal
tiger is in a very grave and critical situation requiring authorities to be
aggressive in an effort to prevent extinction.