The national tiger census of India in 2014 was 2,216. Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Chandrapur will add 16 tigers to this tally this year, with the number in core and buffer areas of the reserve estimated to go up to 88 from 72 last year.
The latest report on Phase IV monitoring, part of the project — ‘Long-term monitoring of tigers, co-predators and prey species in TATR & adjoining landscape, Maharashtra’ — states that there are estimated to be 88 tigers in 1,700 sq km area of core and buffer.
Of the 88 tigers, 51 tigers have been recorded in core of 625 sq km Tadoba. The report was submitted to PCCF (wildlife) Shree Bhagwan on Wednesday by principal investigator Bilal Habib, Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun. The exercise was conducted from January- May 2015 covering an area of 1,700 sq km.
Following the incident of a tiger cub chewing the rear view mirror of a tourist vehicle, which was reported by the TOI, the authorities of Umred-Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary have pulled up their socks to tighten the rules for tourism. Strict instructions have been issued to the field staff and entry of unregistered Gypsies has been banned at all four gates of Umred-Karhandla.
On Monday, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) Shree Bhagwan chaired a meeting at forest department’s rest house in Navegaon (Deshmukh) to review functioning of the sanctuary. The meeting was attended by concerned forest officials, all Gypsy drivers, guides, forest guards and van-majors.
Laying out instructions for staffers, Bhagwan directed that on sighting of any animal, including tiger, no tourist vehicle will halt for more than five minutes at the spot of sighting.
India’s tiger census has gone up by more than 30 per cent in the past four years, according to a latest study on tiger population which was released on Tuesday. The study put the number at 2,226, up from 1,706 in 2010 when the last such tiger census exercise was undertaken. Experts involved in the exercise said the steep rise in the number was more than what they had expected. “We all knew that the tiger numbers have gone up. But none of us had expected this kind of number. We were expecting the number to be around 1,900,” said Yadvendradev Jhala of the Wildlife Institute of India, one of the lead authors of the study that is the third edition of a four-yearly exercise aimed at assessing the state of tigers and their habitats in India.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, who released the study, said India now is home to about 70 per cent of tigers in the world.