This announcement means India is the first among the 13 tiger range countries to nationally adopt CA|TS, which are a set of minimum standards setting the benchmark for managing conservation sites. This brings India’s total number of registered sites to 94 (which includes sites not in tiger reserves). Once these reserves are registered, there will close to 125 tiger conservation areas taking part in CA|TS worldwide.
On the eve of Global Tiger Day 2020, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change of India have announced the adoption of the Conservation Assured Tiger Standards [CA|TS] across all of the country’s 50 tiger reserves. These reserves, spread across 18 Indian states, cover over 7000 km2 and are home to over 80% of the world’s tiger population.
CA|TS is a conservation tool that sets minimum standards to manage target species, and encourages assessments to benchmark progress. Tigers are the first species selected for the initiative. Launched in 2013, the tool was developed in collaboration with field managers, tiger experts and government agencies engaged in tiger conservation. CA|TS is a partnership of tiger range governments, inter-governmental agencies, institutions, NGOs and conservation organisations and is also being adopted for use beyond tigers, including potentially jaguars, lions, and freshwater dolphins.
This announcement will serve to strengthen India’s contribution to the TX2 global goal, set in 2010, that aims to double the number of tigers in the wild. During the last tiger census in 2018, India reported a population of 2,967 wild tigers, which is more than double the last estimate in 2006.
Stakeholders and experts in the field of tiger conservation have weighed in on this move, saying,
"The CA|TS framework provides an avenue for key tiger sites to assess and identify where their management strengths and challenges are, set goals and evaluate their progress toward achieving those goals. In addition, the framework provides a robust lens through which we can view the benefits of tiger conservation and creating safe havens for tigers in the wild.” - Dr. SP Yadav, ADG (Project Tiger) and Member Secretary, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change
"India’s adoption of CA|TS across its tiger reserves has brought the majority of the world’s wild tigers under one conservation management standard. This will strengthen efforts for continued tiger recovery in India and provide a model for other tiger range countries to follow”. - Stuart Chapman, Lead of WWF’s Tigers Alive Initiative
“CA|TS is an excellent diagnostic tool designed to help site-based tiger management and conservation to be effective and assist in identifying gaps, challenges and resources needed to catalyse the recovery of tigers.” - Sugoto Roy, Chair of CA|TS International Executive Committee
“The countries that have still not adopted the CA|TS framework must be encouraged to do so, as this will assist in establishing a uniform and robust framework for the global tiger recovery programme.” - Dr Rajesh Gopal, Secretary-General of the Global Tiger Forum