India's wild tiger population -- by far the largest in the world -- has risen above 3,000, according to a census released Sunday, boosting efforts to conserve the endangered species.
The largest of all cats, tigers once roamed throughout central, eastern and southern Asia.
The Indian census found 3,167 tigers in the wild across the country, up from 2,967 reported in the last such count.
Surveys are conducted every four years, using camera traps and computer programs to individually identify each creature.
The rate of increase has slowed to less than seven percent over the period, down from more than 30 percent in the previous four years.
But Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the new count was a "proud moment".
"Our family is expanding," he said at a ceremony in the southern city of Mysuru. "This is a success not only for India but the entire world."
India is now home to 75 percent of the global tiger population and also the "largest tiger range country in the world", he added.
In 1900, more than 100,000 tigers were estimated to roam the planet. But that fell to a record low of 3,200 in 2010.
That year, India and 12 other countries with tiger populations signed an agreement to double their big cat numbers by 2022.
India is believed to have had a tiger population of around 40,000 at the time of independence from Britain in 1947.
That fell over subsequent decades to about 3,700 in 2002 and an all-time low of 1,411 four years later, but numbers have since risen steadily.