Deulbari-Debipur (WB), Feb 18 : Angry residents of the Deulbari-Debipur area in South West Bengal's 24 Parganas District drove a wild tigress up a palm tree after it crossed a river.
A forest protection team later rescued the tigress, said Atanu Raha, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, West Bengal.
The team also provided a nylon covering to the tranquilized animal. The tigress was taken to the Ajmalmani Forest and released.
Currently, about four million people reside in the Sundarbans, and according to wildlife experts, an estimated 1,500 tigers have been poached across the country in the past decade.
Dr. Rajesh Gopal, the Member Secretary of the Tiger Project recently said that total country level population of tiger is 1411 with a 17.43 per cent coefficient of variation. The lower limit of tigers is 1165 and the upper limit is 1657.
Dr. Gopal, who made a presentation on the Tiger Census and State Forest Report 2005, said that the assessment shows that though the tiger has suffered due to direct poaching, loss of quality habitat, and loss of its prey, but there is still hope.
The government has declared eight more new tiger reserves to strengthen the population of tigers. An area of around 31,111 square kilometers has been notified/identified as tiger habitat as per provisions of the Wildlife (Protection Act).
The Project Tiger Directorate, now the National Tiger Conservation Authority, initiated refinement of the ongoing process of tiger estimation using pugmarks (footprints) in 2002. This was a collaborative initiative with the Wildlife Institute of India and 17 Tiger States.
The results pertaining to four major tiger States (Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan) were finalized/released in May 2007.
He said that the status of tiger, its co-predators, prey and its habitat has not significantly/adversely changed in the Tiger Reserves and Protected Areas. However, there is a decline in the same in outside areas.
He said tiger census was not available for certain areas. For instance, he said estimation could not be done in the Indravati Tiger Reserve in Chhattisgarh since the area is inaccessible owing to Naxalite engineered problems.
The population estimate relating to the Palamau Tiger Reserve, Jharkhand could not be fully assessed owing to extremist engineered disturbances, he said. However, available information, based on spatial occupancy data collected, indicates a low density of tiger in the area ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 per hundred sq.km, he said.
Shivalik-Gangetic Plain Landscape Complex Corbett, Central Indian Landscape Complex (Kanha), North East Hills and Brahamaputra Plains (Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong) are the promising areas with high probability of long-term persistence of tiger, Dr. Gopal said. he census suggests that four landscapes -- Nagarjunasagar Srisailam, Ranthambhore-Kuno, Indravati-Northern Andhra, and Bandhavgarh-Sanjay-Palamau -- are in need of inputs.
The Government of India has taken several steps to strengthen tiger conservation in the country, through implementation of the urgent recommendations of the Tiger Task Force. This, interalia, includes enhancement of village relocation package from Rs. 1 lakh per family to Rs. 10 lakhs, central assistance for protection and deployment of Tiger Protection Force involving local people and ex-army personnel, rehabilitation/resettlement of denotified tribes/communities involved in traditional hunting and strengthening corridor connectivity.
The allocation for tiger conservation has also been enhanced to Rs. 600 crores during the Plan period.