#InternationalTigerDay: MP hopes double forest beat area increases tiger population
(Sourced from PTI)
On International Tiger Day, Madhya Pradesh officials said the expansion in the territory of tigers raised hopes of a rise in the number of the striped animals in the state. The number of forest beats (a small unit of a forest area), where the presence of tigers has been found, has almost doubled since 2014, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Shahbaz Ahmed said.
"According to the SFRI (State Forest Research Institute) data released after its first phase of estimation, the number of beats with tigers' presence has gone up to 1,432 this year from 717 in 2014," Deputy Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Rajnish Singh said.
The SFRI is the nodal agency for tiger estimation in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, which is home to nearly half-a-dozen reserves for the national animal. "Based on the expanding area of tigers' presence, it is expected that the number of felines may noticeably go up in MP when the next tiger estimation data comes out," Ahmed said.
According to the last census conducted by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in 2014, there were 308 tigers in Madhya Pradesh, 340 in Uttarakhand, and 406 in Karnataka. Rajnish Singh, however, claimed that the number of tigers trapped in the cameras installed in forests of MP during the 2014 census was higher than that of Karnataka and Uttarakhand.
"During the 2014 tiger census, 286 tigers were trapped in cameras installed in the Madhya Pradesh forests while this number was 260 and 276, respectively, in Karnataka and Uttarakhand. However, the final estimation of tigers in Karnataka and Uttarakhand was higher," Singh said.
The Dehradun-based WII, an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, conducts the countrywide tiger estimation once in four years. Singh said the all India tiger estimation is an almost two-year-long process. He said the SFRI data also showed that the number of cattle killed by tigers has gone up by three times in the past seven to eight years.
Meanwhile, there is also some bad news for MP. National Tiger Conservation Authority's data says that of the 98 tiger deaths in India in 2017, 26 were reported from Madhya Pradesh. In 2016, 33 tigers died in MP. MP houses six major reserves for the national animal; it's often called as the "tiger state". Prominent among them are Bandhavgarh, Pench, and Kanha tiger reserves.