The Supreme Court in India has banned tourists from entering more than 40 of the government’s tiger reserves, in an effort to protect the big cats from extinction.

The ruling stipulates that states which fail to impose the ban order will be subject to fines and contempt charges.

The number of tigers in India has been declining for years – a census revealed there were only about 1,700 of them living in the wild as of 2011, down from 100,000 one hundred years ago.

Conservations have hailed the court’s ruling.