SYLLABUS SECTION: GS III (ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY)
WHY IN NEWS TIGER CONSERVATION?
Global Tiger Day is being celebrated on July 29th every year to raise awareness about Tiger Conservation.
India is home to over 50% of the world’s wild tigers with an estimated 2,226 tigers and is reporting an increased number of tigers since 2005, and recent data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature shows that tiger numbers have increased by 40% since 2005.
IS THE RISE IN TIGER NUMBERS ENOUGH TO PREVENT THEIR EXTINCTION?
- Several studies on evolution show that the numbers are crucial to preventing extinction.
- Species with populations of less than 100 breeding individuals have a high probability of extinction.
- Isolated and small populations face a high probability of extinction because of genetic drift.
- Fencing tiger reserves thereby isolating them also resulted in high extinction.
GENETIC EFFECTS OF ISOLATION:
- Tigers in Similipal form a small and isolated population where 60% of them carry at least one copy of genetic variant DNA resulting in pseudo-melanistic tigers that are common only in Simlipal.
- Future development policies should be in line with conservation goals.
- To retain the evolutionary potential of tigers as a species, we should work to conserve the entire extant gene pool, range of habitats, behaviors that are culturally inherit.
Read more: UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS
SOURCE: THE HINDU