On Project Tiger’s golden jubilee, PM to flag off Big Cats Alliance

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the International Big Cats Alliance (IBCA) in Karnataka’s Bandipur National Park on April 9.

The IBCA will focus on protection and conservation of seven major big cats of the world, namely, the tiger, lion, leopard, snow leopard, puma, jaguar and cheetah, official sources said.

The launch of the alliance is in line with the Prime Minister’s appeal to world leaders in July 2019, when he had called for an alliance of global leaders to obliterate demand and firmly curb poaching and illegal wildlife trade in Asia.

Since 2014, India has seen an increase in the population of big cats, with tiger numbers increasing by 33 per cent from 2,226 in 2014 to 2,967 in 2018 (the year when the last census of the big cats was concluded).

The latest tiger population population figures, based on the 2022 census, will be released by Modi on April 9.

Strong conservation management and robust protection has also resulted in a 29 per cent increase in the lion population in Gujarat (674 in 2020, compared with 523 in 2015).

The widely distributed leopard population has seen a rise in numbers of about 63 per cent (from 7,910 in 2014 to 12,852 in 2018).

Last year, the government had successfully completed the transcontinental translocation of cheetahs from Namibia to India. One of these translocated cheetahs gave birth to four cubs, making them the first cheetahs to be born on Indian soil since 1952.

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