A new population evaluation carried out by a conservationist group has found that there are 40% more tigers living in the wild than had been previously estimated.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) stated that there are now believed to be 5,578 tigers currently living wild, compared to 3,726 which was the estimated number in 2015, an increase of 40%.
The new number has been the result of better monitoring of the animals, which are classified as an endangered species.
Luke Hunter, the executive director of the Wildlife Conservation Society big cat program told NPR news:
“A fairly significant chunk of that 40% increase is explained by the fact that we’re better at counting them, that many governments in particular have really sort of moved heaven and earth to do massive scale surveys.”
He went on to say that better conservation methods have allowed more tigers to breed and survive. Tiger populations have come under huge strain due to hunting and poaching and due to human habitations encroaching on their land. A tiger will often roam over hundreds of miles in search of prey and for mating opportunities.
Hunter added that by saving the territory for tigers to roam in there are huge external benefits, such as preserving the biodiversity of the region and habitat for a whole range of other wild creatures. He said:
“When you succeed in saving tigers or conserving tigers, you are conserving very large wilderness landscapes, with a huge host of biodiversity but also a whole bunch of benefits to the human communities that live in and around those landscapes. Expanding and connecting protected areas, ensuring they are effectively managed, and working with local communities living in and around tiger habitats, are critical to protect the species.”
In recent years multiple governments have put in place legislation to protect tigers from poaching and ensure their territory remains untouched.
[Based on reporting by: NPR]