Increasing numbers: The national animal finally gets space
Thiruvananthapuram, May 7: The National animal finally gets a news of relief. The number of tigers in Kerala's forests has gone up to 100 due to excellent protection measures for the wildlife, an official said on Tuesday.
"The tigers in our forests were around 70 and now the numebr has gone up to around 100, and similar is the increase for other wild animals also," V. Gopinath, principal chief conservator of forests in Kerala, told IANS.
The increase in the tiger numbers has been particularly noted because forests in the Western Ghats are continguous and spread into states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. And given the vast expanse of these forests, it was but natural that wildlife often moved from one region to another in search of food and habitation.
"The increase in the tiger numbers has been because of the contiguous nature of forests. Another aspect in the increasing numbers is the excellent protection given to the wildlife using funds from both the centre and states," added Gopinath.
Later last year, India created a new protected area for tigers within a wildlife reserve in the south of the country. According to a release from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a conservation group, the area, part of the Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary, is home to more 25 tigers. This population of tigers rivals the size of some of India's better-known reserves, the statement said.
This reserve was the 42nd tiger reserve in the country, which is home to the largest population of tigers in the world. The 272-square-mile (705 square kilometers) protected area will help connect several adjacent parks, making it one of the largest continuous tiger habitats in the world, according to the WWF.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) issued a guideline last year, proposing to assign a unique identification (UID) number to each tiger captured through camera traps. The NTCA wants to create a national repository of camera-trap photographs of tigers, and the UIDs will help cut out duplication and give the big cats an exact headcount. Tigers will be identified on the basis of stripe patterns obtained through the camera trap images, reported TOI.
The wild cat's population finally shows rise in numbers after several poaching incidents and accidents that killed many tigers last year. There were also reports on the rise in the number of tigers in Sundarbans, early this year.