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Project Tiger is administered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority. The overall administration of the project is monitored by a steering committee headed by a director. A field director is appointed for each reserve, who is assisted by a group of field and technical personnel.
Shivalik-terai conservation unit North-East conservation unit Sunderbans conservation unit Western Ghats conservation unit Eastern Ghats conservation unit Central India conservation unit Sariska conservation unit Kaziranga Conservation Unit The various tiger reserves were created in the country based on 'core-buffer' strategy:
1.Core area: The core areas are freed of all human activities.It has the legal status of a national park or wildlife sanctuary.It is kept free of biotic disturbances and forestry operations like the collection of minor forest produce, grazing, and other human disturbances are not allowed within.
2.Buffer areas: The buffer areas are subjected to 'conservation-oriented land use'. It comprises forest and non-forest land.It is a multi-purpose use area with twin objectives of providing habitat supplement to spillover population of wild animals from core conservation unit and to provide site-specific co-developmental inputs to surrounding villages for relieving their impact on core area. For each tiger reserve, management plans were drawn up based on the following principles:
Elimination of all forms of human exploitation and biotic disturbance from the core area and rationalization of activities in the buffer zone Restricting the habitat management only to repair the damages done to the ecosystem by human and other interferences so as to facilitate recovery of the ecosystem to its natural state Monitoring the faunal and floral changes over time and carrying out research about wildlife
Tiger pugmarks at Sunderbans tiger reserve, West Bengal By the late 1980s, the initial nine reserves covering an area of 9,115 square kilometers (3,519 square miles) had been increased to 15 reserves covering an area of 24,700 km2 (9,500 sq mi). More than 1100 tigers were estimated to inhabit the reserves by 1984. By 1997, 23 tiger reserves encompassed an area of 33,000 km2 (13,000 sq mi), but the fate of tiger habitat outside the reserves was precarious, due to pressure on habitat, incessant poaching and large-scale development projects such as dams, industry, and mines.
Wireless communication systems and outstation patrol camps have been developed within the tiger reserves, due to which poaching has declined considerably. Fire protection is effectively done by suitable preventive and control measures. Voluntary Village relocation has been done in many reserves, especially from the core, area. Livestock grazing has been controlled to a great extent in the tiger reserves. Various compensatory developmental works have improved the water regime and the ground and field level vegetation, thereby increasing the animal density. Research data pertaining to vegetation changes are also available from many reserves. Future plans include use of advanced information and communication technology in wildlife protection and crime management in tiger reserves, GIS-based digitized database development and devising a new tiger habitat and population evaluation system.