Forest officials stall tiger census in Jharkhand

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Palamau (Jharkhand), Apr 23 (ANI): Forest officials in Jharkhand's Palamau District abandoned the tiger census mid-way in Maoist-infested forest areas following threats from the rebels.

Palamau is a Maoist-infested area, with the rebels hampering human and wildlife acclivities.

This year, monitoring and census of wildlife could only be done in 40 percent area of the tiger reserve with the rest of the area being inaccessible due to the presence of Maoists.

"The reason for the decline in tiger population is due to their disturbance in natural habitat. Even the population of people around everywhere because there is no place left where you would not find people. Especially in this region, there is lack of security and problem of Naxalities and due to that we can't go to the interiors of the forest to monitor," said Manoj Singh, Director of the Palamau Tiger Reserve.

Palamau tiger reserve is spread across 1,100 sq. kms. This reserve is a home to 17 tigers, over 200 elephants, over 50 leopards, over a thousand deers, monkeys and bisons.

Poaching and loss of habitat have caused the number of tigers to plunge to an alarming rate in India.

Conservationists say the trade in skin and bones is booming to countries such as China, which has banned the use of tiger parts in medicine but where everything from fur to whiskers to eyeballs to bones, are still used. (ANI)

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