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India on Friday said it has set a target of doubling the tiger population in the country and that there is a possibility of an increase in the number of tigers according to the preliminary indications from the on-going countrywide tiger census.
Speaking at an event ahead of the Global Tigers Day on July 29, India’s Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan said if tigers are conserved, the country will then also be able to protect environment and deal with environmental threats.
“To conserve tiger, it is necessary to increase their population. We have a target of doubling the tiger population,” he said adding India has 70 per cent of the world’s tiger population. The preliminary census data of the ongoing tiger census is showing rise in the population of the big cats in the country, which is a “big thing”, Vardhan said. In his address, Environment Secretary C .K Mishra referred to the animal-human conflict and stated that it is important to understand that it is the human beings who have entered the tiger’s habitat.
Speaking on the occasion, Director General, Forest, Siddhanta Das said that the way the tiger conservation effort is going on, India is on the way to double its population of the big cat.
He said that by conserving the tiger, all animals in the food chain are being protected. “If the number of tigers is increasing, it indicates that water security in the country is increasing. Tiger conservation is symbolic and will save us from water crisis”, Das pointed out.
He also stated that in order to protect a tiger, about 50 deer, adequate grasslands for the deer and moisture to support the grasslands is required.

New Delhi Correspondent