The tiger is a powerful symbol of India’s national and cultural heritage. According to the World Wildlife Foundation, there are about 3890 tigers in the world, and India is home to 70 per cent of the world’s tiger population. Some reports say that 100 tigers died in India last year. Their population has been under threat due to various factors such as poaching, human-wildlife conflict and loss of habitat. The Government of India launched the first tiger conservation programme called ‘Project Tiger’ in 1973. Currently, India has 50 tiger reserves across 18 states.
A 14-year-old tigress, popularly known as ‘Collarwali’ (or T15) from Madhya Pradesh’s Pench Tiger Reserve recently gave birth to four cubs. This is her 8th litter, taking the total number of cubs she has produced to 30– a record for any tigress in Madhya Pradesh. She earned her nickname from visitors as she has a radio collar around her neck. The radio collar allows the tiger’s movements to be tracked.
Madhya Pradesh was a ‘Tiger state’ for decades, being home to the highest number of tigers in the country. It lost this tag to Karnataka in 2014 after its population of tigers declined tremendously. Last year, 27 tigers died in Madhya Pradesh itself. Hopefully, this new addition to T-15’s family will give a boost to the tiger population in the state.
Written by: Chandni Shah. Chandni is a picture book collector, an educator and founder of Simplifly, a learning venture for children.