Project Tiger

Project Tiger

Project Tiger


  • Project Tiger is a wildlife conservation initiative in India that was launched in 1973.
  • The primary objective of Project Tiger is to ensure the survival and maintenance of the tiger population in their natural habitats by creating dedicated Tiger Reserves.
  • Starting with only nine reserves covering 9,115 sq. km, the project marked a paradigm shift in wildlife conservation efforts.
  • It was first launched at the Jim Corbett National Park.
  • Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change providing central assistance to the tiger States for tiger conservation in designated tiger reserves.
  • It focuses on the conservation of big cats and ensures the preservation of their natural habitat as tigers are at the top of the food chain.
Project Tiger

Method of Tiger Census

The unreliable pug-mark method of the first tiger census in 1972 gave way to more accurate techniques like the camera-trap method.

Growth Rate in Tiger Population

  • The first tiger census, in 1972, used the unreliable pug-mark method to count 1,827 tigers.
  • As of 2022, the tiger population is estimated at 3,167-3,925, showcasing a growth rate of 6.1% per year.
  • India is now home to three-quarters of the world’s tigers.

Tiger Reserve

In 1973, Project Tiger began with nine reserves covering 9,115 sq. km. By 2018, it had grown to 55 reserves in different states, totaling 78,135.956 sq. km or 2.38% of India’s land area.

Why is the Tiger so significant?

  • It is a top predator and is at the apex of the food chain.
  • The presence of tigers in the forest is an indicator of the well-being of the ecosystem.
  • Tigers are both a Flagship and Umbrella species.
  • As a Flagship species they are important for conservation and as an Umbrella species, the conservation of tigers leads to the conservation of other species

What is the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)?

  • NTCA, a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change was established in 2005.
  • It has been constituted under Section 38 L (1) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.


  • The Union Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (Chairperson)
  • The Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment and Forests (Vice-Chairperson)
  • Three members of Parliament, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, and other members.

Headquarters: New Delhi


 The NTCA has the power to check poaching and preserve the tiger population.

  • It sets up a Tiger Protection Force and funds the relocation of villages from the protected areas.
  • It also provides statutory authority to Project Tiger.
  • The NTCA / Project Tiger conducts the country-level assessment of the status of the tiger, co-predators, prey, and habitat, using the refined methodology, as approved by the Tiger Task Force.

Related Links:

National Tiger Conservation AuthorityWildlife Protection Act 1972
National Clean Air ProgrammeUNESCO World Heritage Sites in India