India’s 2018 Tiger Census has made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for being the world’s largest camera trapping wildlife survey. The fourth cycle of the All India Tiger Estimation 2018 estimated 2,967 tigers or 75 per cent of the global tiger population in the nation. Its results were declared to the nation on International Tiger Day on July 29 last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Guinness World Records website said, “The fourth iteration of the survey conducted in 2018-19 – was the most comprehensive to date, in terms of both resource and data amassed. Camera traps (outdoor photographic devices fitted with motion sensors that start recording when an animal passes by) were placed in 26,838 locations across 141 different sites and surveyed an effective area of 121,337 square kilometres.
The camera traps captured 34,858,623 photographs of wildlife totally, out of which 76,651 of which were tigers and 51,777 were leopards; the remainder were other native fauna. From these photographs, 2,461 individual tigers (excluding cubs) were identified using stripe-pattern-recognition software, the website said.
The tiger census is a long and arduous task, undertaken by the country once in four years where forest officials and scientists trek across almost half a million square kilometres finding proof of tiger population
Terming this achievement a great moment, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted, “The All India Tiger Estimation is now in the Guinness World Records for being the largest camera trap wildlife survey, a great moment indeed and a shining example of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.”
He also said that under the leadership of the Prime Minister, India fulfilled its resolve to double tigers numbers four years before the target through “Sankalp se Sidhi” (Attainment through Resolve). In 2018 when PM Modi the figures on International Tiger Day, findings said that the tiger population had risen from 2,226 in 2014 to 2,967 in 2018. He added that India is “now one of the biggest and most secure habitats of the tiger”.