New Delhi: The coverage of Protected Areas which was 4.90% of country’s geographical area in 2014 has now increased to 5.03%. This includes an increase in Protected Areas in the country from 740 with area of 1,61,081.62 sq.kms. in 2014 to present 981 with an area of 1,71,921 sq.kms.
In past 4 years, forest and tree cover has risen by 16,000 square kms. In last few years, afforestation has got big thrust, which has resulted in rising forest cover.
There has also been an increase in number of community reserves. From just 43 in 2014 their numbers are more than 100 in 2019.
Currently, there are 52 Tiger Reserves in the country, covering an area of about 75,000 Sq Km, spread across 18 States. Together, they account 75% population of the wild tigers at global level. India had set a target of doubling the number of big cats by 2022 but achieved the goal much in advance i.e. in 2018 itself. The Tiger Population which stood at 2,226 in 2014 now stands at 2,967 in 2018.
The budgetary allocation for tiger conservation has increased from Rs 185 crore in 2014 to Rs 300 crore in 2022.
The population of Asiatic Lions has shown a steady increase with a population of 674 individuals with an increase rate of 28.87 per cent (one of the highest growth rate so far) from the 523 lions in 2015.
In 2020, India recorded leopard population at 12,852, as compared to the previous estimate of 7910. More than 60% increase in population has been recorded.