Centre releases country’s tiger census report Credit: Government of India

Guwahati: India has 70% of the world’s tiger population says the latest tiger census report. The tiger population in the North-east, including the Brahmaputra flood plains, has recorded an increase while Nameri and Pakke block recorded a decreasing trend. Around 219 tigers were registered in the region during the survey.

Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar released the report on the eve of Global Tiger Day, in New Delhi on Tuesday.

India’s tiger population now stands at 2,967, which is 70% of the global tiger population.

The report also highlighted the encroachment of fertile river islands inside Kaziranga National Park. The river islands or ‘chaporis’ play an essential and vital habitat link to maintain gene flow between plains and hill population of tigers (in Arunachal Pradesh).

These river islands being extremely fertile for agriculture and pasture for livestock are encroached. This hinders the movement of the big cats.

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India has 70% of world’s tiger population

The minister said, “Despite several constraints such as less landmass, India has 8% of bio-diversity because our country has a culture of saving and preserving the nature, trees and its wildlife. It is praiseworthy that India has 70% of the world’s tiger population. India is tirelessly working with all 13 tiger range countries towards nurturing the tiger.”

Javadekar also announced that his ministry is working on a programme in which efforts would be made to provide water and fodder to animals in the forest itself to deal with the challenge of human-animal conflict which is causing deaths of animals. For this LIDAR-based survey technology will be used for the first time.

LIDAR is a method for measuring distances by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflection with a sensor.

“At the international level, we have a lot of soft powers, but one soft power is that the country has animals. India has 30,000 elephants 3,000 one-horned rhinos and more than 500 lions,” the minister added.

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The detailed report released assesses the status of tigers in terms of spatial occupancy and density of individual population across India.

In addition to the summary report released by the Prime Minister on the “Status of Tigers in India” in July 2019, this detailed report compares information obtained from the earlier three surveys (2006, 2010, and 2014) with data collected from the 2018-19 study to estimate population trends at country and landscape scales, patch colonization and extinction rates along with information on likely factors responsible for changes in tiger status at the fine spatial resolution of 100 km.

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