The latest tiger census has caused tiffs between states.
Barely a month after the Ministry of Environment and Forests released the tiger numbers for the country and its states, two states have written to the Centre seeking a re-survey of the findings on tiger numbers.
The Karnataka Forest Department has written a letter stating that the tigers from their state have been added in the numbers of Tamil Nadu. The Madhya Pradesh government has also sought a revised list of tigers, after it was reported that they had 50 tigers less than the tiger census figures of 2006.
According to officials from Karnataka, the present census count has 50 tigers less than the total number of tigers mentioned in the previous tiger census held in 2010.
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, had conducted the census during 2010 and Karnataka was declared the new Tiger State of India, with 300 tigers out in the wild. It was followed by Madhya Pradesh, which has 257 tigers in the wild.
During the earlier, 2007 census Madhya Pradesh had close to 300 tigers. The decline of 43 tigers has worried the officials in that state. A official from MoEF said that both Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh forest departments have sought a re-survey since the numbers appear low, despite a higher number of direct sightings in the last few years.
Wildlife officials from Karnataka Forest Department said that a re-survey has been sought in Bandipur Forests, which abuts the Tamil Nadu forest area.
“The river Moyar divides Bandipur in Karnataka and Mudhumalai in Tamil Nadu geographically, but hundreds of animals including tigers and elephants move from one part to the other. Unlike Bandipur, which is one of the first tiger reserves in the country and well protected, the neighbouring Mudhumalai has no protection for tigers. Also the numbers which Tamil Nadu is showing, need to be checked,” said a forest official.