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Explained: What is St. Petersburg Tiger Summit that aims to double tiger population

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New Delhi, July 29: International Tiger Day, also known as Global Tiger Day, held globally on July 29, is an annual celebration to raise awareness for tiger conservation and the protection of their habitats.

However, despite intensive conservation efforts for over three decades, the wild tiger population in the world has declined by 97 per cent in the last century.

Explained: What is St. Petersburg Tiger Summit that aims to double tiger population

In 2010, with tiger numbers at an all time low, the tiger range governments committed to an ambitious and visionary goal of Tx2- to double wild tigers by 2022.

The initiative was started in 2010 at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit.

The Tx2 approach looks at doubling the number of tigers in the wild, rather than just saving the animal in each of the countries in which it is present. This strategic focus looks at not only protecting tigers but protecting landscapes including source sites and corridors, according to World Wildlife Fund.

It also encourages trans-boundary collaboration between countries for tiger conservation.

The Tx2 initiative marks the first time that all tiger range countries have come together to collaborate and work together towards a global goal of protecting this apex predator.

While several tiger range countries like India, Nepal, Russia and Bhutan have registered an increase in tiger population, the status of tiger remains "endangered" and tiger population has decimated to non-viable level in some range countries, which is a cause for concern.

International Tiger Day: Can India afford to have more tigers?

For conservation of the country's national animal, the government had launched 'Project Tiger' in 1973. As per a 2014 assessment, India has the highest number of tigers in the world at 2,226.

Doubling tiger population: Nepal a success story

Nepal is on track to become the first of the world's countries to double its wild tiger population since 2010. According to results from the country's most recent tiger survey, there are now an estimated 235 wild tigers, nearly twice the number of tigers counted in 2009.

According to World Wildlife Fund (WWF), an organisation dealing with wildlife conservation and endangered species, this news can help Nepal become the first country to double its national tiger population since the ambitious TX2, a goal to double tiger numbers in the wild by 2022, was set in 2010.

Although the number of wild tigers dropped by more than 95 per cent since the 20th century, now, for the first time in conservation history, their numbers are on the increase.

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