International Tiger Day is also known as ‘World Tiger Day’. It is celebrated every year on 29th July. The theme for this year is – “Their Survival is in our hands”. This day marks the need for awareness about the various issues that pose threat to tigers. A question arises here, ‘Why do we need to focus on the conservation of tigers?’ For that, we have to keep in mind the concept of a balanced ecosystem. Tigers play a key role in maintaining the balance of an ecosystem.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) says, “As top predators, wild tigers play an important role in maintaining the harmony of the planet’s ecosystems. By preying on herbivores, tigers help to keep the balance between the prey animals and the forest vegetation which they feed upon.”
The Significance of International Tiger Day
On 29th July 2010, various countries signed an agreement in the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit, held in Russia. The agreement focused on the alarming situation of decreasing tiger population and the need to preserve the natural habitats of these animals. It was announced that the countries having a greater population of tigers would try to double up the numbers by 2022.
India constitutes about 70% of the tiger population of the world. Moreover, India has achieved its target of doubling the tiger population before 2022. Hence, International Tiger Day is of great importance to us.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweets, ‘On #InternationalTigerDay, greetings to wildlife lovers, especially those who are passionate about tiger conservation. Home to over 70% of the tiger population globally, we reiterate our commitment to ensuring safe habitats for our tigers and nurturing tiger-friendly eco-systems.’
He adds, ‘India is home to 51 tiger reserves spread across 18 states. The last tiger census of 2018 showed a rise in the tiger population. India achieved the target of doubling of tiger population 4 years ahead of schedule of the St. Petersburg Declaration on tiger Conservation.’
The situation is definitely improving, all because of the people behind wildlife management.