PM Modi to launch International Big Cats Alliance; also to release tiger number in Karnataka

Bandhavgarh National Park, India; 17 months old Bengal tiger cub (male) resting in open area early morning, dry season

New Delhi: In a bid to protect and conserve seven major big cats of the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the International Big Cats Alliance (IBCA) Bandipur National Park Karnataka on Sunday.

IBCA will focus on protection and conservation of seven major big cats of the world, viz. Tiger, Lion, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Puma, Jaguar and Cheetah.

The alliance will be announced to mark the 50 years of Project Tiger, which was launched in November 1973.

Prime Minister Modi in July 2019, had made a clarion call to form an alliance fof Global Leaders to obliterate demand and firmly curb poaching and illegal Wildlife trade in Asia.

On the ocassion, the Prime Minister Modi also launched the latest figures of tiger population. A commemorative coin on completion of 50 years of ‘Project Tiger’ will also be released on the occasion.

India aims to sustain a viable tiger population based on a scientifically calculated carrying capacity of habitats while maintaining a balance between development and wildlife conservation.

Additional Director General of Forests S P Yadav said that though tiger poaching has substantially reduced due to better technology and protection mechanisms, it is still the biggest threat to the big cats besides habitat fragmentation and degradation.

Since 2014, there has been an increase in the population of big cats in India, with tiger populations increasing by 33% from 2226 in 2014 to 2967 in 2018.

Initially, India has covered nine tiger reserves spread over 18,278 sq km. At present, there are 53 tiger reserves spanning more than 75,000 sq km (approximately 2.4 per cent of the country’s geographical area).

Wide ranging efforts have been undertaken, which have together positively impacted the wildlife in the country.

Strong conservation management and robust protection has resulted in a 29% increase of Lion population in Gujarat (674 in 2020 compared to 523 in 2015).*

The widely distributed Leopard population has seen an increase of about 63% (from 7910 in 2014 to 12,852 in 2018).

During the event, the Prime Minister will visit Bandipur Tiger Reserve in the morning and interact with frontline field staff and Self Help Groups involved in conservation activities.

He will also visit the Theppakadu Elephant camp in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and interact with mahouts and kavadis of the elephant camp. T

he Prime Minister will also interact with Field Directors of tiger reserves that have scored highest in the recently concluded 5th cycle of Management Effectiveness Evaluation exercise.


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