Only 1,500 tigers left in
India: official booklet
By Nityanand Shukla
Dec 12 (IANS) India has around 1,500 tigers left in the wild,
says an official survey. The figure might come as a shock
to wildlife lovers as a census conducted six years ago had
pinned the big cat population at 3,652.
out as a booklet titled "Status of Tigers, Co-predators
and Prey in India", the survey was jointly conducted
by the National Tiger Conservation Authority of the ministry
of environment and forests and the Dehradun-based Wildlife
Institute of India.
report, which is available with IANS, says the total tiger
population in India is just 1,500. The figure, however, excludes
the count from Jharkhand and the Sundarbans area.
assessment has shown that though the tiger has lost much ground
due to direct poaching, loss of quality habitat and loss of
its prey, there is still hope," it says.
last census conducted in India in 2001-2002 said there were
3,642 tigers left in the wild. Going by this figure, the tiger
population has fallen by 60 percent today. A century ago the
number was around 40,000.
report divides the tiger population into four regions. The
first is the Shivalik- Gangetic plain landscape complex covering
Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar. The total tiger count in
this region is 297, with Uttarakhand recording the highest
numbers at 178.
second region is the Central Indian landscape complex and
Eastern Ghats landscape complex that includes Andhra Pradesh,
Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra,, Orissa, Rajashthan
and Jharkhand. In this region, the total count is 601, with
Madhya Pradesh having 300 tigers.
third region is the Western Ghats landscape complex that includes
Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. In the third region, the
total tiger count is 402 with Karnataka having 290 tigers.
fourth is the North East Hill and Brahmputra Flood Plains
and includes Assam, Arunanchal Pradesh, Mizoram, West Bengal.
In this region, the total tiger count is 200.
tiger count in Jharkhand and the Sundarbans could not be assessed
as data provide by the state was not as per protocol.
time data was collected by a scientific method. In past, it
used to be collected by counting tiger pugmarks that depended
on experts identifying individual big cats.
pilot project evolved field-friendly data collection protocols
in consultation with field managers and scientists,"
says the report.
monitoring programme used remote sensing, geographical information
system and global positioning system technology in combination
with high resolution spatial data and field data, based on
sign surveys, camera tapping and distance sampling, to effectively
monitor tiger and prey population."
are a conservation dependent species, requiring large contiguous
forest with fair interspersion of undisturbed breeding areas.
This leaves little choice other than to evolve strategies
by mainstreaming conservation priorities in regional development
policy and planning for managing priorities areas identified
in the landscape complex."