Bengal Tiger

The country with the most tigers is India, hosting around 70% of the remaining tigers, or a little over 3000. However, given that around 100 years ago there were more than 100,000 tigers, this population is clearly more precarious than it should be. Having said that, back in 2006 the Indian tiger population was as low as just 1411 Рthere are individual reserves in Africa with more lions in than this number. Given that there are 54 tiger reserves in India, that leaves an average population of just 30 per reserve Рmeaning humans must be more involved than in lion conservation, as without regular translocation the genetic diversity is likely to start to threaten the lives of tigers. 

Until recently, official tiger numbers were worked out on the basis of pug marks. However, in most areas this has been replaced with photo identification, for a simple reason. In Simlipal reserve in Orissa state the pugmark system was still claiming a population of 101 tigers, in 2004. Yet in 2010 the states government figures claimed only 61 Рsuggesting 40% had been poached. Even this appears to be a huge over estimate, as the same state government claims just 45 tigers across all reserves within the state. Sariska and Panna reserves in India are worse with the government having to admit that there are no tigers left (2 reserves of at least 5 so called tiger reserves with none left. In a list of the best places to see tigers, India will often count more than  half of them within its borders.

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