India's tiger population surges to nearly 3,000 cats, bringing hope for endangered species

India's tiger population surges to nearly 3,000 cats, bringing hope for endangered species
© Getty Images

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced this week that his country’s tiger population expanded to almost 3,000 cats last year, making his nation one of the "safest" habitats for the endangered species worldwide.

Modi shared the results from a recent survey conducted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority on Monday, which was also Global Tiger Day.

ADVERTISEMENT

According to the NTCA, India’s tiger population rose to 2,967 in 2018. The number marks a 33 percent increase from the numbers recorded in 2014. “The rise in tiger numbers was in conformity with the average annual growth rate of tigers since 2006,” the agency said. 

In a tweet on Monday, Modi said the “results of the just declared tiger census would make every Indian, every nature lover happy.”

“Nine long years ago, it was decided in St. Petersburg that the target of doubling the tiger population would be 2022,” he continued. “We in India completed this target four years early.”

The WWF India also welcomed the news in a release on Monday, saying the “results of the 2018 surveys bring both great hope and reassurance about the tigers’ prospects in many areas within India.”

The tiger is currently classified endangered under the Wildlife Protection Act. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, three of the eight subspecies of tiger are now extinct.

There are less than 4,000 tigers left on the planet, according to the WWF.