The world’s wild tiger population rose for the first time in more than a century, the result of more effective conservation efforts, two wildlife groups said.
“This offers us great hope and shows that we can save species and their habitats when governments, local communities and conservationists work together,” said Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International.
The wildlife groups said this is the first time the tiger population has risen since 1900, when an estimated 100,000 tigers roamed the Earth.
More than half of the world’s tiger population is in India, which is home to 2,226 of the endangered cats.
Higher tiger counts have been found in Russia, Bhutan and Nepal.
However, there may be a margin of error in the population counts. Several countries have not surveyed their tiger populations so estimates are based on available information.
Thirteen countries in the world have wild tiger populations. In 2010, they launched a plan to double their numbers by 2022.
The release of the population numbers comes ahead of a three-day meeting Tuesday in New Delhi to discuss conservation efforts.