(WILDLIFE CONSERVATION/ENDANGERED SPECIES) INDIA — Poaching has proven to be the biggest factor impacting tiger populations over the years. However, India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority recently released information regarding the latest tiger numbers.

Fortunately for the nation’s wild tigers, there was a surge in their population last year. The survey displayed that the number of individual tigers increased from 1,706 individuals in 2010 to 2,226 in 2014.

Photo Credit: Lucy Ray, PA Wire/Press Association Images
India’s tigers are clawing their way back from the brink of extinction. Photo Credit: Lucy Ray, PA Wire/Press Association Images

The survey covered over 115,800 square miles and analyzed images from thousands of camera trap locations across 18 states, including territories outside tiger reserves.

“Our latest estimate today is that India has 70 percent of the world’s tiger population and we now have 2,226 tigers presently in 47 tiger reserves and this is a great achievement. It is a net increase of 30 percent over the last estimation,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said in a public statement.

The recent growth in India’s tiger population can be credited to the country’s efforts in improving management and protection over tiger wildlife reserves.  The rise in numbers has given many conservationists hope for the species’ future.

“India’s outstanding result demonstrates that tigers can recover and thrive, even in densely populated countries with a focus on economic growth-as long as there is political will and the commitment to get results,” said Director of Species Conservation at WWF-US Dr. Barney Long.

In hopes of further protecting the species, all tiger range countries have committed themselves to the goal of doubling global tiger numbers by 2022, which is the next Chinese Year of the Tiger.

— Sabrina Clinkenbeard, exclusive to Global Animal