Tiger, the national animal of the country is a pride for the society and historically intricately enthralled in India’s art, culture, sculpture and literature. Tiger is important for the food chain and helps in maintaining the ecological viability of the entire area, habitat, water, and climate security of the region, an apex predator that requires vast habitat to harbour viable populations and by virtue of this serves as an umbrella species for conserving Asia’s forest systems ensuring viable populations of other endangered species. The existence of this mighty creature is threatened by rise in organized poaching, depletion of tiger prey and habitat loss.
Tiger conservation was initiated by Government of India in April, 1973 with launching of ambitious Project Tiger. The Centrally sponsored Project Tiger is one of the largest species conservation initiatives in the world. India’s tiger reserve network has now expanded to 53 tiger reserves cumulatively protecting an area of 75796.83 sq.km), these tiger reserves are repositories for biodiversity conservation in the country ensuring regional water security and carbon sequestration thereby contributing in accomplishing India’s climate change mitigation targets. Project Tiger has been converted into a statutory authority, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). The NTCA addresses ecological and administrative concerns for conserving tigers. It provides a statutory basis for the protection of tiger reserves for the protection of ecologically sensitive areas and endangered species.
The Government of India released the commemorative coin to mark the 50 years of the Project Tiger