NEW DELHI: India is home to 2,967 tigers, a jump of 33 per cent, compared to 2014 with Madhya Pradesh housing the largest population of big cats followed by Karnataka and Uttarakhand. Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the results of the fourth cycle of All India Tiger Estimation- 2018, an exercise carried out every four years.
The 2014 tiger estimation had put the numbers at 2,226. This time 80% of the tigers have been photo captured. However, the decline in tiger population in the states of Chhattisgarh and Odisha remains a matter of concern, according to tiger census results released Monday.
Releasing the report, the PM said that it is possible to strike a healthy balance between development and the environment. “In our policies, in our economics, we have to change the conversation about conservation,” the Prime Minister added.
Complimenting India’s over four-decade-old tiger conservation exercise, the results found that tigers were observed to be increasing at a rate of 6% per annum in the country when consistently sampled areas were compared from 2006 to 2018.
Madhya Pradesh recorded an increase of over 200 tigers and Karnataka over 100 in the last four years. However, there are worrying trends as of the 50 tiger reserves, Nameri and Pakka tiger reserves registered decline while tigers were not recorded in Buxa, Palamu and Dampa tiger reserves.
“India has a big challenge because of the ongoing economic transformation. We have reached a level, where we should consolidate and prepare for the interface. The aggressive focus should be on interface keeping in mind landscape approach,” said Rajesh Gopal, secretary-general, Global Tiger Forum.