An Indian government report entitled Status of Tigers, co predators and prey in India, 2010 was released last week showing results suggesting that the native tiger population in India has grown from an estimated 1,411 in 2006 to 1,706 which constitutes a 20% increase in numbers. On the other hand, the report went on to say that although tiger numbers have increased, their natural habitat has declined.
The report which constituted the largest of its kind included all of the 17 tiger states and involved 477,000 work days by forest staff and 37,000 work days by professional biologists.
“After the 2006 pan India tiger population estimation, the present exercise is even more comprehensive in terms of the area covered and methodologies used. The involvement of conservation partners, including WWF, has led to broad based efforts and built a stronger constituency and capacity for tiger conservation in India,” said Mr. Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO of WWF India.
Although the results on the increase of tigers is encouraging, the reported 12.6% reduction in the tiger’s natural habitat is a major area of concern because it will squeeze the tiger population into an ever dwindling environment which could lead to a loss of genetic exchange between future populations of the big cat.
WWF India worked with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to formulate the massive survey and clearly more work is needed to help preserve the natural habitat in the region.
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