Project Tiger, by Philip Game

A jeep safari is a good way to see the sights

A jeep safari is a good way to see the sights

One hundred years ago, India’s tigers numbered around 40,000, yet within decades the Royal Bengal Tiger faced extinction. Although hunting was outlawed in 1970, the survival of the species was threatened by continuing loss of habitat and by poaching.

Enacting the Wildlife Protection Act in 1972, India’s central government established the first nine tiger reserves, including Corbett and totalling 16,000sq km, across India.

Reserves now number 27 and encompass more than twice that initial land area.

Project Tiger has doubled India’s tiger population whilst safeguarding much of the gene pool and habitats for wildlife generally, although some argue that some smaller reserves are not viable populations.

As at Corbett, Tiger Reserves consist of a core, a heartland shielded from forestry, grazing and other disturbances. Buffer zones supplement the habitat and allow multiple uses, including pre-existing villages and forestry operations.

Project Tiger

Fact File

Corbett National Park is six hours drive east of Delhi. Overnight trains also serve Ramnagar, which offers a range of accommodation including the comfortable but bizarrely designed Country Inn Tree Tops, one of many hotels along the Ranikhet road.

Corbett Museum is 32 km from Ramnagar on the road to Nainital.

More information: Lonely Planet’s encyclopaedic India guide.

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