The latest census in India shows that tiger population numbers have risen by 20% since the last census in 2007. Only partly is this due to the fact that for the first time tigers were counted in all of India, including difficult terrain near the border to Bangladesh. 1,706 tigers were counted, a figure that is considered as “good news”. In the years prior to 2007 population numbers had declined rapidly. This is mainly due to poaching, which is highly organised crime in India and still a problem. At the turn of the last century there were around 100,000 tigers in India. 97% of those have been lost to poaching and shrinking habitats. Conservation efforts seem to be successful though as the recent numbers show.
Shrinking habitats, however, still pose a threat to the tigers. They are not only getting smaller, but also more fragmented, leading to small populations being isolated. Further conservation efforts have to aim at preventing further habitat loss.