There were times when a mere thought of a tiger brought chill down the spine and its presence, a shrill human cry. In changing times, tigers are at the receiving end of the 'fear divide' and now probably they shudder at the sight of human.
Tiger population is considered to be the indicator of eco-system's stability. A habitat having good prey base reflected by undisturbed forest vegetation can have a viable tiger population. The danger then lies here. Despite the accolades heaped on the successful 'Project Tiger' several questions are being raised on the exact number of Tiger population in the country. The 'Project Tiger' reports the number of tigers to be 3,642 in the year 2001-02, questions have been raised on the method of calculating their population. The World Wide Fund for nature (WWF) estimates that during the course of last century, the number of tigers have declined by about 95%, that is from 100,000 to about 5,000-7200 and India remains exposed to deep threats.
The threat exists primarily due to the loss of prey due to intense human activity. However, the most severe threat relates to intense poaching for supplying the nefarious Chinese traditional drug market. Till stringent laws are not enforced effectively, problems can accentuate for tigers, as also for humans.