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The year 2023 marks 50 years of Project Tiger, India’s flagship programme to protect its flagship species. In 2005, I chaired a tiger task force with fellow conservationists as its members to review what had gone wrong in the Sariska tiger sanctuary, which had lost all its tigers. Our report, “Joining the Dots”, put forward the agenda for tiger conservation. It was not well received in the close-knit “tiger” community, as it was seen to be more human-centric than conservationist.
Much water has flowed under the bridge since we submitted the report to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Much has been done to follow up on its recommendations. The tiger census methodology has changed from tracking pugmarks to scientific estimation using camera traps; the National Tiger Conservation Authority and Wildlife Crime Bureau have been established with much enhanced budgets; new protocols for management and protection have been laid down; and re
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