Save Tiger initiative worked? Cat numbers up for first time in century
The world-'s count of wild tigers roaming in forests from Russia to Vietnam has escalated for the first time in more than a century, with 3,890...
Dhaka: The world's count of wild tigers roaming in forests from Russia to Vietnam has escalated for the first time in more than a century, with 3,890 counted by conservation groups and national governments in the latest global census, wildlife conservation groups.
The tally marks a turnaround from the last worldwide estimate in 2010, when the number of tigers in the wild hit an all-time low of about 3,200, according to the World Wildlife Fund and the Global Tiger Forum, reports Daily Star.
India alone holds more than half of the world's tigers, with 2,226 tigers roaming reserves across the country, from Kerala to West Bengal, according to its last count in 2014.
While experts said that the news was cause for celebration, they stopped short of saying the number of tigers itself was actually rising.
The global census, compiled from national tiger surveys as well as the International Union for Conservation of Nature, was released a day before the ministers from 13 countries meet in New Delhi.
The countries teamed up with conservation groups after the disappointing count in 2010 and pledged to double wild tiger numbers by 2022. Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio also joined the effort.
"Tigers are some of the most vital and beloved animals on Earth," ABC News quoted DiCaprio as saying.
While Russia, India, Bhutan and Nepal all counted more tigers in their latest surveys in Southeast Asia, however, they are behind the others in conservation measures and do not yet conduct a tiger census on their own.
Cambodia is looking at reintroducing tigers after recently declaring them functionally extinct within its borders.
Tigers are considered endangered species, under constant threat from habitat loss and poachers seeking their body parts for sale in the black market. They are also seeing their habitats rapidly shrinking as countries develop.