Out of the 50 tiger reserves in the country, Uttarakhand’s Corbett Tiger Reserve brims with 231 big cats — highest in the country — while three tiger habitats in Mizoram, West Bengal, and Jharkhand have no presence of the majestic animal anymore.
These findings are part of the fourth All India Tiger Estimation 2018, which was released by Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on the eve of Global Tiger Day, celebrated on July 29 every year.
The over 600-page document — ‘Status of Tigers, Co-predators and Prey in India report for 2018 — which shows reserve-wise and State-wise tiger population, the distribution reveals that three reserves — Mizoram’s Dampa reserve, West Bengal’s Buxa reserve and Jharkhand’s Palamau reserve — have no tigers left.
Currently, the tiger population within the reserves is 1,923 (65 per cent of the total tiger population of India), the report said. According to the population estimation of tigers in reserves for 2018-19, Corbett has 231 tigers followed by Nagarhole and Bandipore reserves in Karnataka with 127 and 126 tigers respectively.
Assam’s Kaziranga and Madhya Pradesh’s Bandhavgarh recorded 104 tigers each, the report said.
It said some reserves like Similipal (Odisha), Amrabad and Kawal in Telangana, Nagarjunsagar Sri Sailam (Andhra Pradesh), Palamau (Jharkhand), Sanjay-Dubri (MP), Nameri and Manas in Assam, Buxa (West Bengal), Dampa (Mizoram), Anshi Dandeli (Karnataka) and Pakke (Arunachal Pradesh) are below their potential and require resources and targeted management.
“In areas where tigers have not been recorded or the population has declined, restoration needs to proceed by improving protection, augmentation of prey, and reintroduction of tigers from an appropriate source.
“For reintroduction of tigers into Palamau, prey augmentation needs to be achieved coupled with the restoration of law and order,” it said.
“For tiger reintroduction or supplementation in Palamau and Similipal, tigers need to be sourced from the closest source in the same genetic cluster. Buxa and Dampa can be repopulated through reintroductions from Kaziranga, after prey restoration in Buxa and strengthening protection in Dampa which has a good prey base,” it said.
According to the report, in the State-wise distribution of tigers, Madhya Pradesh was found with maximum tigers at 526 followed by Karnataka at 524 and 442 in Uttarakhand.
Last year Prime Minister Narendra Modi had released the four-yearly tiger census report according to which the tiger population in the country had grown from 1,400 in 2014 to 2,967 in 2019. He said all of India’s 50 tiger reserves were not poor quality.
Javadekar also announced that his Ministry is working on a programme in which efforts would be made to provide water and fodder to animals in the forest itself to deal with the challenge of human-animal conflict which is causing deaths of animals. For this LIDAR based survey technology will be used for the first time. Lidar is a method for measuring distances by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflection with a sensor.
Minister of State of Environment, Babul Supriyo said human- animal conflict can be avoided but it cannot be ruled out in the country. He said frontline officials have done commendable job in raising the numbers of the tiger in the country.
Javadekar pointed out that India is ready to take a leadership role and work with other tiger range countries for the management of the reserves. There are currently 13 tiger range countries — India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Wednesday, 29 July 2020 | PNS | New Delhi