Ramesh R. (2008, February 14). [oline]. Alarm as Indian tiger numbers fall to 1,400: Figure plummets to less than half 2002 estimate
Figure plummets to less than half 2002 estimate
India, tiger; population decerease; poaching; urbanisation; habitat loss; encroachment; Sumatran tiger; Indonesia; Tiger Trade
The number of wild tigers in India has dwindled to little more than 1,400, less than half the previous estimate, in an alarming decline blamed by wildlife experts on poaching and urbanisation.
The last major survey, in 2002, recorded 3,642 tigers. Until this census, India was thought to be home to 40% of the world's tigers, with 23 tiger reserves in 17 states.
Rajesh Gopal, of the National Tiger Conservation Authority, said: "The tiger has suffered due to direct poaching, loss of quality habitat, and loss of its prey."
The government authority said its monitoring methods had changed; it now relied on cameras rather than pugmark (footprint) counts. But it is clear that tiger numbers have dropped. Some reserves, such as Sariska in Rajasthan, have been cleared by poachers. Others, such as Bandhavgarh in Madya Pradesh, have seen sharp drops due to encroachment on the forest. The only exception has been Tamil Nadu, where the numbers have risen to 76 from 60 five years ago.