Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Why tiger conservation efforts need genetic data





by Anusha Krishnan




  • Molecular studies have confirmed that there are at least four tiger subspecies that are genetically distinct and that each may require unique conservation strategies.


  • Though Indian tigers have the most genetic diversity, they also show population sub-structuring and signs of recent inbreeding.


  • In Simlipal, Odisha, a unique genetic mutation affecting the patterns on tiger coats, giving rise to the ‘black tiger’, has been found to occur at a high frequency in this region’s small and isolated tiger population.


  • Overall, these data indicate that genomic perspectives are necessary for managerial decisions regarding tiger conservation efforts.