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Look Back at Nearly 50 Years of India’s Project Tiger by Joel Centano

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

Look Back at Nearly 50 Years of India’s Project Tiger by Joel Centano, Bergen County Moms

Here’s how to honor the occasion and contribute to ongoing conservation efforts.

Launched in 1973, Project Tiger – India’s unprecedented effort to save its Bengal tigers from extinction – has led to wild success: Since its inception, the project has created 50-plus tiger reserves across the country and helped increase the wild tiger population from roughly 1,800 to 3,000. (For perspective, fewer than 4,000 tigers are estimated to live in all of Asia.) To celebrate Project Tiger’s upcoming 50-year anniversary, and Beyond Bhutan will host two small-group, 16-day tours that visit Ranthambore, Kanha, and Kaziranga national parks, where travelers can see tigers – and tiger conservation – in action. Even better: andBeyond will donate $1,500 per group to the nonprofit Tiger Watch.

Departures: December 1, 2022, and January 12, 2023.

Look Back at Nearly 50 Years of India’s Project Tiger by Joel Centano, Bergen County Moms
Aditya Panda

On the Ground

Aditya Panda – conservationist, wildlife photographer, honorary wildlife warden in the state of Odisha, and guide for both Project Tiger departures – shares his insights on the project’s golden anniversary and its significance.

On Project Tiger

This 50th anniversary is a conservation landmark – not just for India, but for the world. It’s proven that if the planet’s largest cat can be saved and revived among one of the world’s most densely populated nations, with enormous growth and development aspirations, then any species can be saved, anywhere.

On Sustainable Travel

It’s no coincidence that most of India’s most successful tiger reserves – those that consistently sustain large, breeding tiger populations – have had thriving wildlife tourism industries around them. Regulated tourism has played a major role in providing alternative livelihoods to communities that would otherwise depend on the tiger’s habitat for income, for example, for firewood collection and livestock grazing.

On Moving Forward

Project Tiger’s anniversary can be seen as a celebration of India’s successes and a call to action. We must applaud the increase in tigers across most of India, but at the same time, this is a moment to acknowledge that the increase is driven by a few very successful landscapes, while in others, tigers have continued to decline. It’s now time to focus on all aspects of tiger conservation, so that every inch of India’s tiger habitats can be restored, and the tiger can truly be revived across its existing range.

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