The Tiger as the National Animal of India symbolizes the power, strength, elegance, alertness, intelligence and endurance of the nation. The Royal Bengal Tiger has been featured in Indian currency notes as well as postage stamps.
After Independence India adopted Lion as their National animal due to the fact that lion capital of the Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath (300 BC) was adopted as the National emblem. In 1972 this day, the tiger became India’s national animal, replacing the lion that had ruled for over 2,000 years.
Why Tiger replaced Lion?
Lion being the king of jungle was only limited to one or two states while tigers roams all over India in as many as 16 states so our Nation decided tigers are the true king of our forests. It is said that India holds over half the world’s tiger population.Our Nation chose Tiger not only because of its population, but also due to out ancestors believed it symbolizes the unlimited power to protect the virtue and destroy evil.
8 Species of Tigers
There are eight subspecies of tigers -Royal Bengal tiger, Indo-Chinese, Sumatran, Siberian, Caspian, South china, Java and Bali. Today Caspian Java and Bali doesn’t due to their extinction.
Endangered species now
The tiger needs vast uninhabited areas for its survival. But decrease of forest cover leading to loss of habitat and poaching are the two biggest threats that are driving the number of Royal Bengal Tigers towards being tagged endangered by the IUCN Red List. The illegal trade in tiger skin and huge market for tiger bones and teeth for medicinal purposes fuel the gangs of poachers.
With the launch of Project tiger in 1973, various tiger reserves were created in different parts of the country with the main aim to create a safe haven and ideal environment for the survival and growth of tigers. But as per survey it is said that 97% of population compared to last century. Owing to the project, the number of tigers is estimated to be around 2600 and to be improved to 3000 by the end of 2019. Hope Our national animal doesn’t face the extinction.