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Tiger Census 2018: Madhya Pradesh beats Karnataka to reclaim Tiger state tag with 526 big cats

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New Delhi, July 29: Madhya Pradesh regained its 'Tiger State' status on Monday with the highest number of 526 big cats, closely followed by Karnataka, 524. Uttarakhand stood at number 3 with 442 tigers.

The previous census, Karnataka led the states with 406; Madhya Pradesh had 308; Uttarakhand, 340; and Tamil Nadu had 229.

Tiger Census 2018: Madhya Pradesh beats Karnataka to become Tiger state with 526 big cats

MP houses six major reserves for the national animal and is often called as the 'tiger state'. Prominent among them are Bandhavgarh, Pench and Kanha tiger reserves.

MP lost the 'Tiger State' status to Karnataka in 2011 and faced criticism for topping the country in tiger deaths 47 in four years, including 13 in 2018. The geographical mapping of tigers, which is conducted every four years, showed Karnataka having 406 tigers against MP's 308.

Uttarakhand with 361 tigers stood at number two. Madhya Pradesh was declared a 'Tiger State' in 1995, when it harboured nearly 20 per cent of India's tiger population and nearly 10 per cent of the world.

India is now home to 2,967 tigers, numbers up by 741 in fourth cycle

Chhatisgarh and Mizoram sees decline in numbers

Chhatisgarh and Mizoram saw a decline in their tiger numbers while tigers numbers in Odisha remained constant.

All other States witnessed a positive trend. Viewed at the landscape level, all 5 landscapes showed an increase with the Central Indian landscape recording the highest increment.

India has been estimating its tigers using a double sampling approach involving a mark-recapture framework to ascertain tiger numbers, which is being improved over time keeping in view advancements made in science.

International Tiger Day: Can India afford to have more tigers?

The population of tigers in India has increased from 2,226 in 2014 to 2,967 in 2018, according to the tiger census report.

The 33 per cent rise in tiger numbers is the highest ever recorded between cycles which stood at 21 per cent between 2006 to 2010 and 30 per cent between 2010 and 2014. The rise in tiger numbers was in conformity with the average annual growth rate of tigers since, 2006.

It was a moment of pride for the country as it achieved its commitment to the St.Petersburg Declaration, much in advance to the 2022 deadline.

The Prime Minister also released report of the 4th cycle of the Management Effectiveness Evaluation of Tiger Reserves (MEETR) with Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh scoring the highest and Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu showing the highest increment in management since the last cycle for which the latter was awarded.

42 per cent of the tiger reserves fell in the Very Good management category, 34 per cent in the Good category, 24 per cent in the Fair category while no tiger reserve was rated Poor.

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