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Tiger Population In India
Through The Years

Early 1900’s

Around 1,00,000 believed


Around 40,000 believed


Around 1800 estimated


Around 4000 estimated


Around 3000 estimated


1411 Tigers counted


1706 Tigers counted


2226 Tigers counted


2967 Tigers counted

Tiger Census 2018 or The Tiger Counting of 2018 in India

The Tiger Census results announced in July 2019 declared a Wild Population of Tigers as 2967 individuals, including all adults and cubs.

How is the Tiger Census Carried out in India?

• Undertaken every 04 years, it is the largest wildlife survey on the planet.
• The Tiger Census is conducted across 50 Tiger Reserves in India, in 20 States.
• Total members to participate in the Tiger Census 2018 were 44,000 people with a staggering 5,93,882 man-hours spent conducting the survey.
• Area Covered : 5,22,966 square kilometres.
• 3,17,958 sq, km habitat plots covered in the census.

• Double Sampling Method is utilized:
– A First Sample is collected by the Forest Guards at respective Tiger Reserves following the methodology dictated by the NTCA(National Tiger Conservation Authority) and WII(Wildlife Institute of India)
– The Second Sample is collected by the Biologists from WII.

04 phases of Tiger Census in India

Phase I

• Carnivore Signs Survey: Tigers have a home range, and within these, they take utilized and trusted ways to manoeuvre through the forest. 15 km of the path is traversed each day by the forest guards. These paths are strategically selected on the basis of known tracks and signs as well as previous observations.

• Herbivore, Vegetation and Human Disturbance Survey: The Line-transect system is utilized wherein a straight-line path of 2 km is marked, herbivores which are observed during the walk are recorded. This is done for 03 days each morning on the same trail.
A GPS device, compass and range finder is used during this census.

Pellet (herbivore droppings) density, vegetation data and human disturbance(if any) is also recorded near the transect line.
This gives an estimate of the density of prey and vegetation cover in the territory of a particular Tiger or overlapping areas of Tigers.

Phase II

Data is collected and collated by the NTCA from various organizations, and the characterization of the landscape of the territory of the Tiger is derived from it. This data is procured from organizations such as :
– SEDAC(Socioeconomic Data and Applications Centre) – Human Footprints
– FSI(Forest Survey of India) – Forest Maps of India

Phase III

• Biologists from the Wildlife Institute of India visit Tiger Reserves and collect the 2nd samples.
• Camera Traps are set up strategically based on the findings from Phase 1 and 2. These motion sensor cameras capture all animals which pass by. Each Tiger, having unique stripes, can be identified individually, and thus numbers ascertained.
• In Areas where Camera trapping is not possible, Scat samples are collected and an estimate of the minimum number of Tigers is given, through genetic analysis in the lab.

Phase IV

• Procedure for monitoring and capturing data is defined in the NTCA guidelines.
• Each Tiger Reserve in India must monitor and conduct the Tiger and Prey Census on an annual basis.
• Date from each preceding year is utilized for the new year, for example, data from 2017-18 has been used for the Tiger Census of 2018. This data comes from the Phase IV Protocol of 2017-18.
• Phase I to III is carried out at every 04-year interval for national-level monitoring.

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