February 1, 2011, 0:30 IST
The results of the latest census on tigers in India will be out by March-end this year.
The decline of the tiger population has largely been arrested. “We are going to present the results of the latest census report on tigers by the end of March this year at an international symposium on tigers in New Delhi,” a top official of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) told Business Standard.
Nearly, 13 countries are participating in the international symposium on tigers in New Delhi to be held on March 28-29. The last census report had put the tiger population at around 1,411 in India. The official refused to divulge the details of the census, but said there were “no rapid decline indications”.
“We cannot give you the exact number but we are certainly convinced that tigers are now safe in India even if we keep hearing disappointing stories about them here and there,” the official asserted. “If we have lost some tigers at certain reserves, then we have also added new ones in other places,” said the official.
The techniques and the methodology used by experts of WII on the tiger census, like camera traps, remain the same this time also as they were in the last census of 2006-07. “The only difference is that this time we took help from NGOs,” he said. NGOs like World Wide Fund, Wildlife Trust of India and Aaranyak provided the logistics for the census.
Besides the census, the WII will also present a special report on the management effectiveness evaluation of all the 39 tiger reserves in the country for the first time. “This is going to be very interesting since we are evaluating it by independent agencies,” the official said. “We have set up five independent teams to prepare the report. The team comprises scientist and NGOs. And the final report will be made public in the symposium,” the official added.