Tigers in crisis

On Earth Day 2024, Yashvardhan Dalmia, network coordinator for Satpuda Landscape Tiger Partnership (SLTP), urges you to help protect India’s tigers by doubling your donation with Green Match Fund.

Wild Tiger in India

Wild Tiger in India (c) Yashvardhan Dalmia

Yashvardhan Dalmia - Network Coordinator for the Satpuda Landscape Tiger Partnership

Yashvardhan Dalmia

Orange fur, black stripes – solitary and charismatic. Featured across local community folklore and children’s storybooks, these magnificent beings intrigue humans and inspire us to discover more about the natural world. We are of course talking about tigers. On Earth Day 2024, we learn more about the importance of this rare and iconic species, what is being done to protect them here in India, and how your donation via the Green Match Fund will have double the impact!

As a keystone species, tigers play a critical part in ‘defining the health’ of the ecosystems they are a part of. Initiatives for tiger conservation can indirectly protect lesser known but equally important wildlife species, that share their habitats with tigers. After plummeting to an all-time low of fewer than 3,500 individuals globally in the 2000s, immense conservation efforts have helped tiger numbers increase to around 4,485 individuals globally (3,726-5,578), of which some 3,167* can be found in India.

Along with being home to around 75% of the global wild tiger population, India has some of the most critical tiger habitat, essential for the long-term viability of the species. This includes the vast forests of the Satpuda Landscape in Central India, which contains several vitally important wildlife corridors, critical to allow tigers to move between protected areas.

These corridors are multiple-use areas, where the local communities depend on forest resources, and thus have been subjected to high anthropogenic pressures. Dependence on the forest, combined with tiger presence, leads to frequent interactions between people and tigers, giving rise to ‘human-wildlife conflict’. Local communities may be inclined to kill tigers in response to loss of livestock, or simply out of fear, in what are known as retaliatory killings. Furthermore, infrastructure developments such as road building, mining, and dams continue to pose a threat to tigers by fragmenting and degrading their habitat. Poaching and reducing prey numbers put further pressure on tiger populations.

To combat these threats, Born Free helped put together a partnership of dedicated organisations, all working to conserve the forests and wildlife of Central India, known as the Satpuda Landscape Tiger Partnership (SLTP). Since its establishment 20 years ago, Born Free has supported the SLTP partnership through financial and technical support, with the partners implementing a range of impactful conservation initiatives, with the active participation of the local communities living around tiger reserves. The partnership has also created a platform for the partners to share best practices and discuss solutions to challenges effectively.

Conservation Education Programme

There is a popular saying: “You can’t expect people to protect tigers if they don’t fall in love with them”. Over the years, partners of SLTP have conducted numerous awareness and education programmes to inspire local communities living around tiger reserves to understand and appreciate the importance of wild animals and be able to better coexist with them. These include nature education programmes specifically for young students which go a long way in helping nurture future ambassadors of tiger conservation.

This coming year, more than 2,000 students from 50 schools around Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve will be reached by a combination of presentations, nature camps and fun filled jungle safaris.

Tiger Ambassadors Programme

To build conservation leadership, each year, members from rural communities are selected and trained to become conservation leaders and first responders of human-tiger conflict situations in their respective villages. Known as Tiger Ambassadors, they play a crucial role in supporting the forest department and our partners to manage conflict and conduct joint conservation initiatives with the community.

A total of 70 new Tiger Ambassadors were selected in the Navegaon Nagzira Tiger Reserve this year. These Tiger Ambassadors assisted with human-wildlife conflict monitoring patrols, as well as with conflict awareness sessions, aimed at vulnerable groups such as grazers and farmers to educate them on the reasons why conflict may occur and practical, effective ways to mitigate it.

Landscape Monitoring Unit

With support from SLTP, the Landscape Monitoring Unit coordinates and liaises with local stakeholders and the government. The Unit provides technical information to improve conservation action and lobby project authorities to move infrastructure projects away from critical tiger habitats and corridors.

This year, the Unit recommended a series of preventive and control measures within the buffer area of Pench Tiger Reserve. It also participated in an important workshop to discuss and plan conservation actions in critical wildlife corridors across Central India.

Double your Impact

You can help support SLTP to protect tigers in India by donating via the Green Match Fund campaign. For seven days, from the 18th to the 25th of April, Born Free supporters who donate towards our tiger conservation work can have their donations matched by the Green Match Fund, doubling your impact!


*Recently revised to 3,682