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Role of National Tiger Conservation Authority, Discuss.

Tigers are a conservation dependent species. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), in collaboration with the state forest departments and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), conducts a National assessment for the 'Status of Tigers, co-predators, prey and their habitat' for every four years. The methodology used for this assessment, was approved by Tiger Task Force in 2005. In 2006, tiger population was estimated to be 1411, which was much lower than the earlier estimates. This assessment brought about major changes in tiger conservation policy. Hence in 2010 tiger population was estimated to be 1706. In January 2014, India announced that 2226 tigers has been counted across the country, a 30% increase from 2010 population. At the beginning of 20th century, India was home to 1, 00,000 tigers.

Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) is the assessment of, how well protected areas such as national parks, wild life sanctuaries are managed. NTCA in partnership with WII has been under taken MEE in 43 tiger reserves of the country. In MEE process tiger reserves which are characterized under very good position are Anamalai, Bandipur, Kalakad, Mundandurai, Kanha, Melghat, Mudumalai, Nagrhole, Panna, Parambikulam, Pench (MH), Pench (MP), Periyar, Satpuda, Sundarbans, Tadoba, Andhari, Valmiki. In the summary of MEE process of tiger reserves, the number of tiger reserves which are rating very good in position are 40 in percent.

Assessment of MEE has emerged a great tool for protected area managers and is increasingly being required by governments and international bodies. Convention on Biological Diversity programme (CBD) of work for protected areas calls on the state parties to implement MEE for 30% of their protected areas by 2010. MEE has developed a "Monitoring System for Tigers - Intensive Patrolling" and ecological status to access the status of protection.

The strength, weakness and immediate actionable points coming out of the MEE process will have to be taken into account in the tiger conservation plan (TCP) and will have to play a major role in further enhancing the MEE of tiger reserves.

Project tiger is an ongoing centrally sponsored scheme of ministry of environment providing central assistance to the tiger states. The government of India has taken an initiative for conserving tiger by launching project tiger since 1973. From 9 tiger reserves project tiger coverage has increased to 47 at present. The allocation during twelfth plan is Rs.1245crores, and in 2013-2014 the expenditure is Rs.169.48 crores.

ASSESMENT PROCESS

  • All 39 tiger reserves were grouped in 7 landscape clusters for MEE process.
  • In order to ensure credibility of the assessment process, 5 independent expert MEE committees were constituted.

FINDINGS OF ASSESMENT

  • 2 percent increase in very good category; 6% increase in good category; 10% decrease in poor category.
  • Tiger reserves such as Panna and Sariska that had lost all their tigers are performing well.
  • Population trends of all endangered species need to be monitored effectively
  • MEE assessment 2014 indicates most tiger reserves have complied of statutory requirements.

When, the national tiger census report was released in January this year, Karnataka feels proud that the state is now home to 406 tigers the highest in the country. Delhi announces 3 new reserves in central and eastern states.
Karnataka includes that it is going to announce 2 national parks as tiger reserves.
Though the role of NTCA has been taking place in a good manner, there are accidents which affect tiger population. For example, a tiger was killed and eaten by the villagers in Andra Pradesh. Two tiger cubs were adopted by a dog.
Hence, in addition to NTCA, people should have a good thought to save tigers which is our national animal and also India is holding the first place in tiger population in the world.

K.Yuvasri.