India’s wild tiger population increases
An Indian tiger, known as Charger, breaks an infrared beam and has his photograph taken by remote camera as he drinks from a water hole Bandhavagargh National Park, India. © National Geographic Stock/ Michael Nichols / WWF .India, home to half the world’s wild tigers, announced today that its tiger population has increased to 1,706 from 1,411* since the last tiger census in 2007. “In its detail, this tiger estimation exercise shows the importance India attaches to this prime conservation issue,” said WWF India Chief Executive Officer Ravi Singh. “The results indicate the need to intensify field-based management and intervention to go beyond the present benchmark, bringing more people and partners into the process.”The count was conducted by India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority with key partners, including WWF. It was the largest tiger population survey ever undertaken.For the first time, the survey included non-Tiger Reserves and areas outside of national parks. The new figure includes the tiger population in the Sundarbans, parts of Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Assam. The Moyar Valley and Sigur Plateau in India’s Western Ghats Complex, a focus of recent WWF conservation efforts, was found to have more than 50 tigers.Figures were broken down by site with some populations showing increases, such as the states of Assam and Uttarakhand, and others falling, including Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. Despite the overall good news, the census noted an alarming decline in tiger occupancy from 36,139 to 28,108 square miles outside of protected areas, resulting in isolation of source populations. It also highlighted an increase in human-tiger conflict around tiger reserves, with more human presence in places such as Corbett, Ranthambore and Bandhavgarh.“As seen from the results, recovery requires strong protection of core tiger areas and the corridors that link them, as well as effective management in the surrounding...
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