Tigers: India

From Indpaedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Hindi English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish

This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.


In religion and folk-beliefs


April 23, 2023: The Times of India

Predators, prey and forest-dwellers share a mutual respect. Aware of the cyclic character of nature and the importance of its preservation, people evolved customs to protect nature, and predators did not consume beyond their needs. This became a tradition of giving sanctity to the tiger, respecting its apex role in the ecology. 
The earliest appearance of the tiger in India comes from Harappan seals, where the animal stands beneath a khejari, Indian mesquite, tree on which is seated a woman. Was this Kotravai or Durga, goddess of the paalai, desert, whose tree was the prickly kotraan? In another seal, she is half-tiger, half-human. In yet another, she separates two attacking tigers. The tiger is the vahan of Durga, Shakti, the all-powerful destroyer of demons. A tiger flanks the horned Pashupati on another seal. 
Durga riding a tiger appears as Bonbibi in the Sunderbans. The tiger owns the forest and is called Dakkhin Rai, a protective tiger spirit and vehicle of Bonbibi, revered by the Hindus and Muslims. 
Several tribes of India worship the tiger, which was regarded as essential for the health of the forest. The Dhangars of Maharashtra worship Waghdeo or Waghjai, wagh means tiger, who protects their sheep. Waghya is the god of the Kolis, while Waghoba protects the forests of the Western Ghats, and is worshipped to ensure that tigers do not attack people or farm animals. Wagle is a totemic family name.

In Goa, he is called Waghro and his idols are of extreme antiquity. In Pench, the tiger’s pug marks in clay are worshipped. The Santhals worship him as Bageshwar. The Baigas of Central India believe that if the tiger gods are happy, they bring rain but if insulted, there is drought.

In Karnataka, the tiger is worshipped as Huliraya in the sacred groves of the Western Ghats and as Betaraya in the inland districts. Hulideva is the tiger deity of North Canara, where the forests are called Hulidevaruvana, forest of the tiger god. The tiger is the spirit-protector of the Gonds of Madhya Pradesh, Garos of Meghalaya, Tuluvas of Dakshina Kannada and Irulas of Tamil Nadu. The tiger was the emblem of the Hoysalas and the Cholas of South India. Dances Puliyattam in Tamil Nadu and Pulivesham in Andhra Pradesh, puli means tiger, are performed during Navaratri in honour of Goddess Durga, while Pulikali in Kerala celebrates the return of harvest and the dethroned king of ancient Kerala, Mahabali.

But the most important association of the tiger is with Ayyappa, the adopted child of a local ruler. Sent by his jealous queen to fetch tiger’s milk to cure her feigned illness, Ayyappa returned with the milk, riding a tiger and followed by many more. Unmindful of the king’s apologies, he left the palace after marking Sabari Hill for building his temple.

Telangana celebrates the biennial festival of Sammakka, who was found as a baby playing with a tiger, fought the Kakatiyas and cursed them to perish. She comes out of the forest for four days and returns at the end of the jatra, to the tiger’s den.

According to the Mao-Nagas, the tiger, Spirit and man were siblings born to the first woman. Nagas invoked the tiger to ensure fertility and had strict taboos governing the killing of tigers.

Forest-dwellers respect tigers, who protect crops by keeping herbivores at bay. Therefore, they are worshipped as gods. The tiger, as top predator, is beneficial for the ecosystem, so he is imbued with divinity. There was a sense of accountability and responsibility towards maintaining the natural habitat in Indian religious traditions. “If there is no forest, the tiger gets killed; if there is no tiger, then the forest gets destroyed. Hence, the tiger protects the forest, and the forest guards the tiger,” says the Mahabharat, verse 5. 9. 27. If the tiger goes, so will the forests, food and man, say the tribes. It is in our self-interest to protect this beautiful creature. ■


1999-2015: Population

Population in India, wild tiger:1999-2015;
From: The Times of India

See graphic:

Population in India, wild tiger:1999-2015

2006-2014: High growth

The Times of India

Population- India:2006-14
Major tiger habitats in India

Jan 21 2015

2,226 now: Tiger numbers grow by 30% in 4 years Camera trap and DNA sampling methods used in tiger census

Vishwa Mohan

There are more than 2,200 tigers in India's forests, the latest census reveals, indicating a sharp 30% rise in four years that'll come as a big boost to India's conservation efforts. The census, held in 2014, found evidence for 2,226 tigers, compared to 1,706 in 2010.

The southern states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the Western Ghats landscape recorded nearly one-third of the country's total number of big cats. Karnataka continues to have the highest number of tigers in India, itself home to 70% of the world's tiger population.The Mudumalai-BandipurNagarhole-Wayanad forest complex in Western Ghats holds the world's largest tiger population, with 570 tigers. If one compares the 2006 tiger census, when mod ern methodology was adopted for the first time, revealing a tiger population of just 1,411 -the overall increase across the country is a phenomenal 800-odd tigers in the past eight years.

Releasing the 2014 data on Tuesday , Union environment and forests minister Prakash Javadekar said, “We must be proud of our legacy . We have increased the number of tigers by over 30% from the last count (in 2010). “ A total of 3,78,118 sq km of forest area in 18 states, having tiger population, was surveyed during the census that used `double sampling' approach including ground survey and remote camera trapbased capture and recapture technique. Besides, scat DNA sampling method was also used for corroboration in many forest areas.

More than 9,730 cameras were used in the exercise, carried out by National Tiger Conservation Authority in collaboration with the state forest departments, national conservation NGOs and Wildlife Institute of India.

The exercise resulted in 1,540 individual tigers being photographed -making it the most authentic report on tiger population in the country.

The report shows that the tiger population has increased in Karnataka, Utta rakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the past four years, while it has decresed in Odisha and Jharkhand.

2006-14, number of tigers in India

Number of tigers in India- 2006-2014
From: January 29, 2019: The Hindu

See graphic:

Number of tigers in India- 2006-2014

2006-2018: tigers almost double

Vijay Pinjarkar, July 28, 2019: The Times of India

2006-18, the number of tigers in India
The reasons for the increase;
From: Vijay Pinjarkar, July 28, 2019: The Times of India
2006-18, the number of tigers in India  (The previous graphic had provisional figures for 2018; these are the finalised figures.)
India is now home to 75% of the global tiger population. The worldwide population of wild tigers stands at 3,890 with Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand, Bangladesh and Bhutan being other key countries contributing to the remaining 25% count.
On the down side, three (Buxa, Dampa and Palamau) out of the 50 tiger reserves in the country did not record a single tiger.
From: Vishwa Mohan, July 30, 2019: The Times of India

See graphics:

2006-18, the number of tigers in India
The reasons for the increase

2006-18, the number of tigers in India  (The previous graphic had provisional figures for 2018; these are the finalised figures.)
India is now home to 75% of the global tiger population. The worldwide population of wild tigers stands at 3,890 with Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand, Bangladesh and Bhutan being other key countries contributing to the remaining 25% count.
On the down side, three (Buxa, Dampa and Palamau) out of the 50 tiger reserves in the country did not record a single tiger.

Has the tiger population risen by 20% to cross 2,600?

NAGPUR: The tiger population in the country is likely to show a rise of 400, which is an 18-20% hike over the 2014 number of 2,226. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to announce the final figure in New Delhi on Monday, which is Global Tiger Day. People in the know told TOI that it would be in excess of 2600.

The PM will also release the All India Tiger Estimation Report-2018. This is the fourth estimation after Project Tiger was reconstituted in 2006. The national estimation is done every four years. In 2006, the tiger count was 1,411 followed by 1,726 in 2010.

Karnataka is expected to maintain the top slot with 500 tigers followed by Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The last estimation showed Karnataka had 406 tigers.

Even as Wildlife Institute of India (WII) & National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) officials remained tight-lipped on exact figure, they dropped enough hints to indicate that the “increase is substantial”. “The number was even more than what is going to be announced, but to avoid negative repercussions it has been toned down,” some forest officials told TOI.

Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar will also be present along with Modi when the announcement is made at 9.30am. Chief wildlife wardens of all states and tiger reserve field directors too have been invited. The two-day meet will also release management effective evaluation (MEE) reports of all tiger reserves.

Explaining the increase in tiger numbers, officials said this time they refined the methodology by reducing the sampling effort from 4sqkm to 2sqkm to get more accuracy.

“We have 90% pictures of the estimated tiger numbers. More sampling areas were added in more areas which were not covered earlier. Hence, detection probability also increased,” they said.

“In Maharashtra, we estimate an increase in tiger numbers between 230-240,” said officials involved in data collection process. In 2006, there were 103 tigers, followed by 169 in 2010 and 190 in 2014.

In the 2014 estimation, there were 66 tigers in Tadoba and Andhari Tiger Reserve core and buffer, but now the number has gone up to 86. “Similarly, Pench Tiger Reserve, which recorded 23 tigers in 2014, has shown 38 tigers. Melghat Tiger Reserve numbers are also expected to rise,” said officials.

Tigers are being ‘recorded’ in new places. “Today, there are two tigresses with cubs inside Chandrapur Thermal Power Plant premises. Areas surrounding Pench, Tipeshwar (Yavatmal) and Bor (Wardha) too have become source areas. Tigers have staged a comeback in parks like Navegaon (Gondia-Bhandara) where there were none over a decade ago.”

In Brahmapuri near Tadoba, though the tiger number has gone down from 44 in 2017 to 40 this year, the number increased in Central Chanda. Besides, between 2014 and 2018, several tigers have dispersed in search of new territories indicating their occupancy has increased.

Critics say the estimation methodology has been “messed up” by placing 1 camera every 4-5 sq km to 2 sq km. “This means double the effort, huge data and more importantly reduction of sampled area due to limited number of cameras. This will cause reduction in even minimum number of tigers and sample size,” they argued.

The All India Tiger Assessment 2018 is expected to give more accurate results as this was the first tiger census where volunteers and foresters used a digital app to record their observations. The app, M-STrIPES, is an integrated programme for GPS-aided spatial patrolling and ecological assessment of tiger reserves.

Critics, however, felt that the M-STrIPES is still not stable in several reserves. Testings have not been properly done and it is crashing. The ecological monitoring latest version was launched in December last year and estimation was conducted in January giving frontline staff little time to get trained and equipped. Moreover, till date mobile phones have not been supplied in most tiger reserves.

“There is definitely data fudging where old photographs of tigers were used for the purpose of the report and a cumulative figure is given as number of tigers actually captured,” they alleged.


April 10, 2023: The Times of India

All India tiger population estimates, 2006-22
From: April 10, 2023: The Times of India

MYSURU: Project Tiger’s roar of success resounded through the conservation ecosystem with the latest census data released by PM Narendra Modi showing the country's big-cat count shooting up by 200 in four years to hit 3,167, constituting 75% of the global tiger population.

PM Modi dedicated the achievement to all stakeholders, saying India's “protective nature” was intrinsic to its culture. He said this tradition of conservation was reflected in a country accounting for just about 2.4% of the world's land currently contributing about 8% of known global biodiversity.

The updated data till 2022 is officially cited as a “minimum” count, which denotes the number of tigers with photographic documentation. “The actual estimation number could be much higher,” a senior NTCA official said.

The damper was population growth slackening from 25% in the previous survey to less than 10% now.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), which started the tiger census in 2018, had deployed camera traps at 32,000 locations across 20 states. A total of 4.7 crore photographs were captured. “Of these pictures, 97,399 images were of tigers. A total of 3,080 unique images of individual tigers were photo-captured, which is larger than the ones photographed in 2018,” states the census report.

Wearing a jacket with the logo of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, PM Modi earlier took a two-hour, 22km safari from Melukamanahalli, located at the edge of the sanctuary, but didn't spot a tiger.

“At a time when the wildlife population across the world has remained stagnant or is decreasing, conservationists are surprised about the increasing trend in India. We don't believe in a conflict between ecology and economy. Instead, we give importance to co-existence," Modi said in Mysuru, promising that BJP's "Amrit Kaal Ka Vision" for the next 25 years would focus on a landscape-level approach to sustain tiger habitats.

The headcount since 2018 was the world's largest effort in terms of any wildlife headcount till date, involving a foot survey of 6.4 lakh km and as many mandays. Unlike previous estimates that had zone and state-wise counts, the latest report contains references to camera-trapped images from each of the five landscape regions.

According to the report, the highest number of tigers were camera-trapped in the Central Indian highlands and the Eastern Ghats landscape, followed by the Western Ghats, Shivalik Hills and Gangetic Plains landscape, Northern Eastern hills and Brahmaputra floodplains and the Sunderbans landscape.

NTCA member-secretary S T Yadav said the landscape-wise analysis would be published soon. This might be announced in July, coinciding with the International Tiger Day.

Ravi Singh, secretary general and CEO of WWF-India, said, “After five decades, Project Tiger is hailed as one of the most successful species-specific conservation programmes globally. The current minimum estimate of 3,167 tigers epitomises the commitment of the government, local communities and citizens towards protecting our national animal.”

Conservationist K Ullas Karanth claimed the method adopted to estimate the numbers was flawed. “If we were to assume there were 2,000 tigers in 1970 and 3,000 after 50 years, it would only suggest a compounded growth of 1% year on year. The way they are projecting the population rise is inappropriate.”

The success of Project Tiger is not just the success of India but of the entire world. By doing so, India has not only saved the tiger population but also provided them with a safe habitat to thrive. Just as we are celebrating 75 years of Independence, 75% of the global tiger population is in India. The expanse of tiger reserves across the country has also spread over 75,000 sqkm besides witnessing a 75% increase in their population over the last 50 years.

2008-10, Uttar Pradesh: an increase

Tiger census: India
Dwellings, Tiger: India
Poaching, Tiger: India. Graphic from The Times of India
Poaching, Tiger: India. Graphic from The Times of India
Population , Tiger-India: 2010. Graphic from The Times of India

Rise in No. of tigers in Uttar Pradesh

The Times of India TNN | Jul 27, 2014

LUCKNOW: Camera traps have shown more tigers in the core area of Dudhwa tiger reserve this time. The initial estimates for two years, 2011 to 2013, have shown 72 to 80 tigers in the core area of the reserve.

Tiger census 2010-11 had counted 118 tigers in Dudhwa reserve. "The final count this time might be around 125," said PCCF (wildlife), UP, Rupak De.

The findings have been sent to the Union ministry of environment and forest for screening, said the official.

Camera-trapping exercise has been done for Kishenpur wildlife sanctuary and Dudhwa national park which form core of the reserve. Initial findings have also come for Pilibhit forest division which is now a separate reserve.

In all, 72 to 80 tigers have been counted in these areas. Once figures for Katarniaghat wildlife sanctuary, North and South kheri forest division come, tiger numbers might go up to 125. The improved census technique could have resulted in more tigers getting recorded in camera.

It was an 'intensive' exercise as a pair of cameras was installed every 1.6 sq km of the core area. A pair of cameras was installed at 65 identified points in Kishenpur and at 206 identified points in Dudhwa national park.

The height at which cameras were mounted was also altered to record cubs, two-year old and less.

About a dozen new cubs have been recorded in camera.

At least 382 photographs have been downloaded from cameras installed in Kishenpur and Dudhwa national park.

Many of these photographs, said officials, could be 'repetitions' which is why the photographs would be screened. Tiger census is on since November 15 in the reserve.

UP has a major tiger population in Dudhwa tiger reserve comprising Dudhwa National Park (680 sq km), Kishenpur Sanctuary (204 sq km) and Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary (440 sq km); Pilibhit (720 sq km); North Kheri (350 sq km) and South Kheri (460 sq km).

Smaller tiger populations are present in Bijnor forests in west and Suhelwa (Gonda-Bahraich) and Sohagibarwa wildlife sanctuaries (Maharajganj) in east.

2010-2016, a rise of 22%

The Times of India, Apr 12 2016

Tiger population, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and the world; Status in India, 2006 and 2016; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, Apr 12 2016

Tiger population up 22% in 6 years

Vishwa Mohan

After decades of constant decline, the world has for the first time seen an increase in the global tiger population. The number of tigers in the wild has increased from 3,200 in 2010 to 3,890 in April this year -an increase of nearly 22% -with India continuing to be home to the highest number of big cats.

The latest figures of global tiger population were released on Monday on the eve of the third Asia Ministerial Conference on tiger conservation. The three-day mega meet will be inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Tuesday .

The number of tigers will turn out to be even more once one of the tiger range countries, Myanmar, comes out with its latest data. Myanmar had 85 tigers roaming its jungles in 2010.Since there is no recent data available for the country , the `Global Wild Tiger Status' report has not included the country's figure in the overall global figure.

The updated minimum figure is compiled from International Union for Con servation of Nature (IUCN) data and the latest national tiger surveys. The report has attributed the increase in world tiger population to multiple factors including increases in tiger populations in India, Russia, Nepal and Bhutan, improved surveys and enhanced protection. India alone recorded an increase of over 500 tigers during the period.

Speaking about India's efforts to conserve tiger, Union environment and forests minister Prakash Javadekar said, “We have allotted Rs 380 crore to Project Tiger in the current fiscal year, which is an all-time high. It indicates that the government is committed to the conservation of our national animal tiger“.

It was agreed in 2010 Tiger Summit in Russia to double the number of tigers by 2022. The goal is known as Tx2.

2012-16: Rising population

The Hindu, January 1, 2017

Statistics provided by the official database of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) show that the death toll of wild tigers in the country was 97 in 2016, the highest among the annual death figure of the big cat in five years from 2012 to 2016. In 2015, there were 70 wild tiger deaths, in 2014 it was 66, in 2013, 63 and in 2012, 72.

The wild tiger toll in 2016 began with three deaths reported on January 2 from three different States, Aassam, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. The last one in 2016 was reported on December 28 at Sehore district of Madhya Pradesh. A whopping 30 wild tiger deaths were reported from Madhya Pradesh alone in 2016.

Karnataka followed with 17 deaths and Maharashtra with 15 wild tiger deaths last year. Among the deaths, only 18 were due to natural causes. Four deaths were caused by poisoning, 12 deaths due to infighting between tigers and one each caused by drowning, electrocution and poaching. The poaching was reported from the Chikmagalur territorial division of Karnataka.

Two tigers, one at Gudalur in Tamil Nadu and the other at Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand, were “eliminated” by authorities following conflict with man. The NTCA data says that cause of death of the remaining tigers was awaited.

On March 28, 2016, three tigers were found dead due to poisoning at the Satosha beat area of Pench National Park in Madhya Pradesh. The highest number of wild tiger deaths was in April — 12, and in that month five deaths were reported from Madhya Pradesh.

The country lost four tigers on April 26, three tigers on December 8 and two tigers each on January 21, April 2, April 8, May 7, November 4 and November 24.

Uttarakhand, sightings: 2016

The Times of India, Aug 04 2016

Another tiger sighted at 14,000ft in Uttarakhand

Days after the Uttarakhand forest department said there were sightings of a tiger at a height of 12,000ft in the Askot wildlife sanctuary in Pithoragarh, the first time the presence of a wild cat was recorded at such altitudes anywhere in the country, there came reports of another tiger sighting at an altitude of 14,000ft, this time at Kapni Tal, a high-altitude lake in Kedar valley.

The divisional forest officer (DFO) of the area claimed that camera trap images of a tiger in the area had been recorded and sent for further studies.

However, senior forest officials said further confirmation of the sighting -and whether it took place at the altitude specified -was needed before the presence of another big cat at high altitude could be confirmed. The news of the sighting in the upper reaches of Garhwal coming as it did after the one at Kumaon immediately sent interest levels soaring although officials continued to evade questions on the validity of the camera-trap images.

Meanwhile, DVS Khati, the chief wildlife warden, said that it was not clear whether “the camera trap image of the tiger is from the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary or anywhere else.“

2016: Nameless tigers are ‘numbered’

The Times of India, Jun 04 2016

Sixteen `nameless' tigers, half of them not spotted for months, in Rajasthan's Ranthambore national park have been numbered for tracking and subsequent mo nitoring. The numbers were assigned to these adult tigers, most of them at least two years old, on the basis of trap camera footage. Ranthambore was the first national park in the country that began assigning numbers to tigers on the basis of photos from cameras set up across its territory. In 2009, the numbers assigned were from T-1 to T-45. In 2013, the new number were from T-46 to T-75. Now, 16 more numbers have been added.

2016: Tiger cub boom

The Times of India, Jun 16 2016

Rachna Singh

Tourists are enjoying a baby boom at Rajasthan's Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve with only a fortnight to go before it closes. The national park remains open to visitors as per safari timings from October 1 to June 30 every year.

Wildlife lovers are elated as the area has for a long time been devoid of any tigers. While a tiger named T 5 died recently , T 17 disappeared mysteriously .Also, two tigers from this area were shifted to Sariska Tiger Reserve.

Conservationists say there should be a special emphasis on protection of the cubs as the area where they were sighted faces threat from the illegal mining lobby, grazing and the pilgrim rush at a nearby temple.

The tiger reserve has 43 adults, 25 male and 18 female, and 19 cubs, taking the total number to 62.

2016: Tiger count in Sunderbans rises to 85

Krishnendu Mukherjee, Tiger count up in Sunderbans, latest survey puts total at over 85, Nov 07 2016 : The Times of India

The number of tigers in 2016 in
i) India
ii) the Sunderbans

The number of big cats in the Indian Sunderbans is healthy and rising. A recent camera-trap exercise has spotted at least 9 more tigers over last year's figures in the entire mangroves, including the tiger reserve area and the South 24-Parganas forest division.

The assessment exercise by the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) had in 2015 put the total tiger count in the Sunderbans at 76. This year, state foresters have put the number at more than 85 on the basis of camera-trap images, but claim the number could be more since it is not possible to photograph all the big cats using camera traps.

This development, along with the recent sightings of otters, indicate a revival of health of the Sunderbans, the world's largest mangrove forest spanning two countries.

This is the first time that the camera-trap exercise covered the entire Indian side of Sunderbans -the tiger reserve area and the forests outside. The exercise was completed jointly by WWF India and the state forest department.

While chief wildlife warden Pradeep Vyas refused to divulge details and restricted himself to saying that a “report had been prepared and would be submitted next week“, sources in the know claimed that at least 25 tigers, including a cub, were found outside the reserve area or the South 24-Parganas forest division. The remaining 60 were spotted inside the tiger reserve area.

The camera-trap images were analysed with the help of a special software that matched the stripe patterns of the big cats to arrive at a figure of 85, the sources explained. The same exercise last year had projected the cat population in the mangroves at 76.

Earlier, TOI had highlighted how a data-collection exercise has revealed that the population of swamp tigers is on the rise even outside the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve (STR), a protected area.

An official said the recent sightings also show that the population inside the STR area is healthy . In September, a mating pair was sighted in a forest within the tourism zone of Sajnekhali.

Tigers were also reportedly sighted by tourists during monsoon and Durga puja.Movement of a big female and two cubs has also been reported from the Sajnekhali tourism zone which is spread over 362 square kilometres.The tourism zone covers forests like Pirkhali, Dobanki and Panchamukhani.

The camera-trap exercise, that was started in December 2015 in the South 24Parganas forest division, was completed in April 2016 at the Basirhat range that falls in the STR zone.

A similar report released by the state forest department in 2013 had predicted the presence of at least 101 tigers in the mangroves. On being asked about that, a forester said that a refined technology used this time gave a more reliable figure.

“Besides, the cubs were not taken into account. And, as we said earlier, we can't expect all the tigers to appear before the cameras. So the numbers can be even more,“ he added.

2016, Madhya Pradesh: a decline

The Indian Express, January 2, 2017

Big Cats in and around Bhopal , India Today , January 12,2017

The year 2016 was not for tigers as death toll in Madhya Pradesh touched 33

On an average, 14 tigers had died every year from 2012 to 2015, but the death toll went up to an alarming level of 33 in 2016.

Once a home to tigers, Madhya Pradesh now appears to have turned into an enemy territory for them, as the state witnessed the highest number of feline deaths in 2016, when it lost 33 big cats, taking the toll to 89 in a period of last five years. From year 2011 to 2016, as many as 89 tigers including 11 cubs died in the state due to various reasons including poaching, territorial clashes or for natural reasons as cited in the data obtained from the MP Forest Department.

The data revealed that 2012 witnessed the death of 16 felines which reduced to 11 next year (2013). Subsequent years proved more fatal for the wildcat when the state saw 14 and 15 deaths respectively in 2014 and 2015. And, then came 2016, the worst of all when the figures (of feline deaths) were almost double the average of previous five years.

On an average, 14 tigers had died every year from 2012 to 2015, but the death toll went up to an alarming level of 33 in 2016. As far as reasons are concerned, the death of 30 out of 89 tigers were attributed to the territorial clashes, while 22 of them have fallen prey to poachers, who killed them either by poisoning or through the electrocution.

The remaining 37 tigers are cited to die either due to their old age, illness or some other reasons. Amid all these dismal reports about dwindling wildcats’ population, state forest authorities claimed that there was some encouraging news too for tiger conservationists. The state has recorded a growth in their population as more cubs were born during this period. “The tiger population was reduced to 257, according to the census carried out by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in 2011. However in 2014, the tiger population in the state has gone up to 308,” MP’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF), Wildlife, Jitendra Agrawal told PTI. Agrawal claimed that there are 216 tigers in only six tiger reserves of the state – Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Pench, Panna, Satpura and Sanjay National Park. “In addition to these tiger reserves, there are a number of tigers in other forests of the state. If cubs are included, the number of tigers may go beyond 400. This data is an evidence of ongoing conservation work,” he added.

He claimed that the data of union government also denotes that the number of tigers in Madhya Pradesh are rising gradually over the years.

2017: Increase in Uttarakhand

[epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31808&articlexml=Big-jump-in-tiger-count-in-Ukhand-27072017017025 Sharma Seema|Big jump in tiger count in U'khand|Jul 27 2017 : The Times of India (Delhi)]

Tiger numbers have swelled in reserves of Uttarakhand with both Corbett Tiger Reserve and Rajaji Tiger Reserve registering an increase in the population of the animal in the latest census, results of which were announced by chief minister Trivendra Rawat on Wednesday .

According to the tiger estimation exercise, Corbett now harbours a minimum of 208 tigers, a rise from 163 in 2015, while Rajaji is home to 34 big cats, up from 16 in 2015. Forest department officials have attributed the increase in tiger numbers to enhanced security measures undertaken in the recent past.


The census, which esti mated the minimum number of tigers, was based on camera trap method and was conducted as per National Tiger Conservation Authority protocols.

The tiger count started on November 28, 2016 and ended on March 19. In Corbett, 535 camera traps were set up in the 1,318 sq km area of the reserve. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) collaborated with forest department officials to carry out the exercise.


Shivani Azad & Keshav Agrawal, Corbett tops in tiger count, MP pips K’taka, July 29, 2020: The Times of India

See graphic:

The results of the 2018 Tiger Census

Jim Corbett national park in Uttarakhand has the most number of tigers in the country, with 231 of the 2,967 big cats counted for the ‘Status of Tigers, Copredators & Prey in India’ report released by Union forest and environment minister Prakash Javadekar.

Corbett’s tiger count has been rising — from 137 in 2006 to 174 in 2010 and 215 in 2014. “We had expected the numbers to be over 250,” said director of the reserve, Rahul. It is followed by Nagarhole (127) and Bandipur (126), both in Karnataka, Bandhavgarh in MP (MP) and Kaziranga in Assam (104 each). Among states, MP topped the tiger estimation, with 526 (it had 308 last time), going past Karnataka (524 this time, 406 earlier).

UP’s Sohagi Barwa gets a lone tiger

Uttarakhand remained on the third spot, with 442 tigers, up from 340 previously. The All India Tiger Estimation is undertaken every four years, the latest in 2018. This time, Corbett is the only reserve with more than 200 tigers and has the highest tiger density in India, 14. The count in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve has also gone up. “It is a an increase from 58 to 82,” said Sanjay Kumar Pathak, field director of the reserve. Pilibhit reserve’s population is also up by two to 57. And what used to be a non-tiger zone in UP, Sohagi Barwa Wildlife Sanctuary, now has one tiger. But Mizoram’s Dampa reserve and Bengal’s Buxa lost the 6 tigers they had between them. Full report on www.toi.in


See graphic:

Tiger population, 2006-18

State-wise increase

The % increase- decrease in tiger population from 2006 to 2018
From: Neha Sinha, February 28, 2022: The Times of India

See graphic:

The % increase- decrease in tiger population from 2006 to 2018

2018: central India has world’s highest tiger count

Vijay Pinjarkar, April 11, 2023: The Times of India

Nagpur : Ofthe 200 tigers added to the 2,967 estimated in 2018, taking the count to 3,167 as per the latest “Status of Tiger Report”, 128 come from the Central Indian Landscape (CIL). This makes it clear that Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have played a big role in increasing the tiger numbers in the country. "This means, Central India has largest population of tigers in the world,” said Bilal Habib, Wildlife Institute of India scientist.

As per the 2018 estimate, there were 1,033 tigers in central India and the Eastern Ghats Landscape, which comprises tiger reserves in Maharashtra, MP, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Andhra, Odisha and Rajasthan. However, the latest report estimates 1,161 tigers, an increase of 128. National Tiger Conservation Authority and Wildlife Institute of India officials say the addition to the national tally of 3,167 must be from Maharashtra, MP and the ShivalikLandscape.

“Tiger signs were detected in 1,049 grids and 1,161 unique tigers were photo-captured,” the report states.

Anish Andheria, president,Wildlife Conservation Trust, said, “State-wise tiger numbers are not yet out. However, looking at the region-wise breakup in the preliminary report, there are 128 more unique tiger photocaptures in the Central Indian Highlands and Eastern Ghats in 2022 as compared to 2018. ”

“Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, and parts of Andhra and Bihar, the other six states included in this region haven’t done much in tiger conservation over the last decade and are unlikely to have contributed much to AITE-2022,” Andheria said. The Ranthambhore tiger tally (only source population) has contributed to the spread of tiger distribution in the semiarid west India landscape.

2019: spotted in Boriya, Gujarat

Himanshu Kaushik, Tiger spotted in Guj after 27 yrs, February 10, 2019: The Times of India

Mahesh Mahera, a teacher, said he spotted the tiger in Boriya village in Mahisagar district on Feb 6, 2019
From: Himanshu Kaushik, Tiger spotted in Guj after 27 yrs, February 10, 2019: The Times of India

Twenty-seven years after a tiger was last sighted along the Dang border in Gujarat in 1992, a government teacher has reported seeing a tiger, kicking off a discourse that tiger has finally returned to Gujarat.

The teacher, Mahesh Mahera, who sighted the tiger crossing a road into the wilderness of Boriya village in Mahisagar district, also captured the big cat on his mobile phone.

The pictures, clicked from inside his car on February 6, went viral with the state forest department on Saturday setting up camera traps in the vicinity of Boriya village to get more evidence of the tiger’s presence. “While returning home from school in the evening, I was shocked to see a tiger just 40-feet away from my car. As locals have been talking about a tiger’s presence in the area, I immediately clicked its pictures,” said Mahera, who teaches in a primary school in the area.

Mahera shared the pictures with his friends who alerted the forest officials. On Saturday, the picture landed on the mobile of principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF) Akshay Saxena, who ordered an intensive search operation. He has also asked the officials to check authenticity of the pictures.

“We are looking for scat (tiger feces), pug marks, big animals killed. Three camera traps have been mounted and more will be placed soon to capture visual evidence of the tiger,” said Saxena. The PCCF said if tiger’s presence is confirmed in Gujarat, the department will have to go back to drawing board to redesign a wildlife conservation programme for big cats.

Gujarat government confirms tiger’s presence

Himanshu Kaushik, It’s official: Tiger has entered lions’ kingdom, February 13, 2019: The Times of India

Six days after a school teacher clicked the photo of the tiger, the big cat was captured in night vision cameras mounted by the Gujarat forest department
From: Himanshu Kaushik, It’s official: Tiger has entered lions’ kingdom, February 13, 2019: The Times of India

It’s officially confirmed now. A tiger has indeed entered the lions’ den in Gujarat — which is home to the Asiatic lion’s last abode.

Six days after a school teacher clicked a tiger on his mobile phone, the striped big cat was captured on Tuesday morning in the advance night vision cameras especially mounted by the forest department in the area. “Our cameras spotted the tiger in forest area 2 km away from Santrampur in Panchmahal district. The tiger is an adult, aged 5-7 years with pug-marks of 15-17cm diameter,” said RM Parmar, deputy conservator forest of Mahisagar district, who was in-charge of the search mission to locate the tiger following its sighting by teacher Mahesh Mahera.

The return of the big cat to Gujarat after 27 years — it was last spotted in Dangs in 1992 — brought elation in the wildlife circuit. “With the sighting of the tiger, Gujarat is now the only state in the country to have the lion, tiger and leopard,” said principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife) AK Saxena.

The PCCF said that the department is keeping a close watch on the tiger’s movement to ascertain if it is a guest from MP or Maharashtra or is a permanent resident, having made the Gujarat jungle its home.

Forest minister Ganpat Vasava said that Gujarat welcomes the tiger’s presence and may develop a tiger corridor. “The state forest department has sought expert assistance from the Centre. We have also alerted MP, Rajasthan and Maharashtra from where the tiger could have come into Gujarat,” said Vasava.

Saxena said the state will now have to include tiger in its wildlife plan. “We will be mandated to ensure an adequate prey base in the area and preserve the corridor from where it enters the state,” the PCCF said.

Population, state-wise

The Population of tigers in India, 2006-18
State-wise, 2018.
From: July 30, 2019: The Times of India

See graphic:

The Population of tigers in India, 2006-18
State-wise, 2018.


Shivani Azad, July 30, 2023: The Times of India

Tigers in India, state-wise, 2022
From: Shivani Azad, July 30, 2023: The Times of India
Total number of tigers in India, 2006- 2022; India's top 5 tiger reserves, 2022
From: Shivani Azad, July 30, 2023: The Times of India

Dehradun: Hear the roars? There are 3,682 tigers now in India, up from 2,967 in 2018 — a rise of almost 24% in four years. The numbers are also up from the 3,167 tigers announced by PM Narendra Modi in Mysuru on April 9 at a programme to commemorate 50 years of Project Tiger, a conservation effort applauded across the world. 
The revised figures follow detailed analyses of census data collected during the fifth cycle of estimation conducted in 2022. With this, India is now home to approximately 75% of the world’s tiger population.

The latest tiger numbers are mentioned in the “Status of Tigers: Co-Predators & Prey in India-2022” report released at Uttarakhand's Corbett Tiger Reserve by Union minister of state for environment, forest and climate change Ashwini Kumar Choubey on the occasion of International Tiger Day.

Among the 53 tiger reserves in India, Corbett is the lea- der with 260 big cats. Among the states, Madhya Pradesh retained the No. 1 spot. Its tiger population has jumped from 526 to 785 (49%).


MP, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand see maximum rise in tiger numbers

Madhya Pradesh, the state that boasts the most tigers (785) in India, has widened its gap with second-placed Karnataka, which had two less in the 2018 census. Now, with a small leap of 7.4%, Karnataka has 563 tigers.

Uttarakhand stands third with 26.7% growth — 560 big cats now, up from 442 in 2018. Maharashtra has 444 big cats, up from 312 in 2018, a rise of 29%. The count in Tamil Nadu, Assam and Kerala stood at 306, 227 and 213, respectively. Uttar Pradesh, too, saw a rise of 32 tigers with 205 in 2022, up from 173 in 2018, and is placed at No. 8.

Explaining the the jump in numbers from the announcement made in April, Wildlife Institute of India director VK Tiwari said “3,167 is the minimum count as per photo graphs of tigers while 3,682 is the population estimate arrived at by us after extrapolation of all data, including pictures, pug marks and other sign indicators like scat. Overall, the re is an upward trend in the tiger count across the country.”

The maximum increase in tiger numbers was in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand — 259, 132 and 118, respectively. 

Lauding the states’ efforts, the minister said, “We’ve embarked upon a journey of holistic conservation of the ecosystem through saving tigers and their habitats. This is a phenomenal achievement.”

There were a few areas of concern as well. 
States like Telangana saw a decline from 26 to 21.

Chhattisgarh saw numbers falling from 19 to 17. Jharkhand reported just one from five while Odisha also saw a drop from 28 to 20. In Arunachal Pradesh as well, the number was down to nine from 29.

At the time of the Mysuru programme, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) released the presence of tiger numbers in various landscapes. This, too, has been revised.
The landscape-wise report indicated that the maximum tigers were in the Central Indian Landscape and Eastern Ghats (1,439), followed by the Western Ghats Landscape (1,087), Shivalik Hills and Gangetic Plains (819), North East Hills and Brahmaputra Plains Landscape (236), and the Sunderbans (101).

Following Corbett in the ranking of individual reserves is Bandipur and Nagarhole with 150 and 141 tigers. Ban dhavgarh and Dudhwa are at 4th place with 135. Among the others that have logged a hundred are Mudumalai (114), Kanha (105), Kaziranga (104) and Sundarbans (100). The popular Tadoba in Maharashtra is at No. 9 with 97 tigers. 
The tiger population estimate report is usually published after a gap of four years in the country by the NTCA and Wildlife Institute of India with support from respective st
ate forest departments.

Tiger reserves

Tiger corridors

Central India

Vijay Pinjarkar, Wildlife scientists identify 567 types of barriers in 30 tiger corridors in central India, October 16, 2018: The Times of India

A study by three wildlife scientists has identified 567 types of barriers in 30 corridors in central India landscape consisting of 3,84,508 sqkm spread across 16 protected areas (PAs) in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. It contains 16 PAs with a size of 87 sqkm to 3,188 sqkm.

Central India is a global-priority landscape for tiger conservation and contains about 31% of India’s tiger population. The study mapped these corridors and ranked them according to their restoration potential.

“We mapped 567 barriers within 30 linkages in this landscape of which 265 barriers intersect with infrastructure and include 694km of roads, 150km of railway, 48 reservoirs, and 10 mines. Besides, 302 barriers are due to landuse or gaps in forest cover,” says lead author of the study Trishna Dutta, Department of Ecology, Evolution, & Environmental Biology, Columbia University, New York.

Co-authors Sandeep Sharma and Ruth DeFries say, 86 barriers have both roads and railways and there are 80 surface mines and thermal power plants within 10km of the least-cost paths (a path that would be easier for animals to traverse through) and more coal mines are closer to connectivity areas where linkages are narrow.

The study found that 567 barrier area contained agriculture (1,260 sqkm), forest (1,821 sqkm), degraded cover (1,183 sqkm), open-water (150 sqkm), barren land (17 sqkm), and settlements (15sqkm).

“In many cases, avoiding the new infrastructure through critical areas, removing or building mitigation structures across existing barriers, or restoring the degraded habitat along corridors may provide an economically viable alternative to more traditional conservation actions such as land acquisition,” they told TOI.

Sharma from Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, USA, said for a tiger, a path (corridor) comprising of intact forest would be easier to traverse through than an open crop field, than a path going through barriers like towns, mines, and roads.

“So lower the least-cost path (LCP) distance, the better it is for tiger movement. We found that of all the 16 PAs, corridors between Kanha-Pench, Satpura-Melghat, Kanha-Nagzira, Nagzira-Pench, and Pench-Umred-Tadoba have high quality and potential for tiger connectivity and should be maintained. But, the best among these is Kanha-Pench corridor. Corridor between Satpura-Ratapani was poorest,” said Sharma.

Kanha-Pench corridor was selected as the best based on several different analysis that not only include quality and width of the corridor but also consider the tiger density of the reserves in evaluating the corridor. “The novelty of study from what have been done and published in the past, is that we not only ranked the corridors based on their structural and functional potential but we also map and locate various types of barriers (roads, railway, mines, dams etc) within these corridors and provide suggestions as an improvement potential, which I hope has an implication value for restoration and conservation of these corridors,” says Sharma.

Maha govt diverts tiger land for explosives co.

Vijay Pinjarkar, October 30, 2018: The Times of India

At a time when man-animal conflicts are a regular occurrence in Maharashtra and 26 people have been killed in the past 10 months in the state, Maharashra’s Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) has given an “in-principle clearance” for handing over 87.98 hectare tiger-bearing forest to an explosives company, Solar Industries India Ltd (SIIL), in Chakdoh for manufacturing defence products.

Also, though the 222-acre reserve and protected forest land at Chakdoh in Kondhali and Kalmeshwar ranges, 40km from Nagpur, is valued at over Rs 100 crore at current market rate, SIIL will get it for a mere Rs 7.09 crore. The company will spend Rs 7 crore on compensatory afforestation and fencing the land. The FAC decision was passed in 2017.

Of the 88-hectare forest to be diverted, 26-hectare fall in Kalmeshwar range and 62 in Kondhali. According to forest officials, one cattle kill is reported every week both in Kondhali and Kalmeshwar ranges. Besides, annually at least 200 cropdamage cases are reported indicating there is sizeable number of herbivores.

As per survey reports, there is presence of six tigers, including two males and females with cubs, and an equal number of leopards besides spotted deer, barking deer, wild dogs, wild boars, sambars, nilgai and civets in the area. Presence of these animals has been found within the 5-km periphery of the company’s premises. Being contiguous, animals use the proposed diversion area too.

In 2016, reacting to a series of TOI reports, forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar had said that if tiger presence is found in the proposed area, the land would not be diverted. Congress MLA from Saoner, Sunil Kedar, in whose constituency the area falls, had vehemently opposed the diversion. On Monday, Kedar expressed surprise over the decision and said, “I’m not aware and will find out from the forest department and come back to you.” He did not call back.

A senior forest official concerned with the issue told TOI the decision was taken with consensus in a joint meeting called by the forest minister in which Kedar too was present. SIIL business director JF Salve said, “We will pay Rs 1crore in five years to the forest department for conservation. A small piece of land will be utilised for manufacturing critical defence products while remaining land is needed for safety distance. Some of the area will also be fenced.”

Tiger reserves, state-wise

From the archives of India Today , May 28, 2009

Ambreesh Mishra with Mihir Srivastava

The elegantly-worded and detailed website of the Madhya Pradesh Government’s Forest Department has but one missing element—the number of tigers to be found in its numerous national parks, sanctuaries and reserves. Odd, since Madhya Pradesh is considered India’s tiger country.

Not odd at all though, if you take into account its dismal recent conservation record—and the unfortunate propensity of authorites to seek refuge in consistent, unyielding denial.

The brutal truth, however, goes nowhere, even while the opposite happens to the state’s tigers. Four years ago, Sariska National Park in Rajasthan became the metaphor for the decimation of India’s national animal. The nightmare has now shifted location to Panna National Park in Madhya Pradesh.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) sent by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to probe reports of the disappearance of tigers from Panna confirmed early this month that there weren’t any male tigers left in the once-thriving tiger reserve. In a belated face-saving move, the state Government last week transferred directors of three national parks, including L.K. Chaudhary of Panna.

The directors of Bandhavgarh and Kanha parks have also been transferred. It seems a cosmetic exercise though, as Chaudhary was posted only in August 2008. According to the Central SIT, the park was already devoid of the big cats by that time.

The 2002 tiger census reported that Panna had 20 tigresses, 14 tigers and a cub. In 2004, a CBI inquiry confirmed that all tigers in Panna were dead even as forest officials maintained that the striped cats were very much alive.

In April 2004, Belinda Wright, head of the Wildlife Protection Society of India, filed a writ petition with the Central Empowered Committee constituted by the Supreme Court. She highlighted the alarming loss of tiger population in the park due to poaching, extensive burning and quarrying.

After the Sariska tragedy hit the headlines, the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department had claimed in December 2005 that according to their last count in March that year, there still were 34 tigers in the park. P.K. Sen, the SIT’s chief, however, suspects that tigers may have vanished from Panna altogether by the end of 2008. In March 2009, two tigresses were transported to Panna from Bandhavgarh and Kanha parks after being tranquilised. Wildlife officials were hoping to find mates for the lone surviving tiger in the reserve. Their drive to promote breeding in Panna was futile once it became clear that the ‘lone surviving’ tiger in Panna’s wilderness had not survived the cull.

Late in April, a SIT team made up of S.P. Yadav, Joint Director of NTCA, and Qamar Qureshi, senior scientist of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, held extensive public hearings in villages and dwellings around Panna National Park. The denial by locals about tiger sightings flew in the face of the claims by authorities about the presence of the lone male tiger in Panna.

The 2002 census, based on pug mark identification, stated that there were three tigresses for every 100 sq km in Panna. Then in 2006, a census revealed there were three tigers for each tigress, an alarming reverse, technically impossible within such a short time. In May that year, locals reported being unable to sight even one striped cat. All the time, forest officials claimed otherwise.

In 2006, wildlife conservationist Raghunandan Singh Chundawat had warned the Government about the dwindling tiger population in Panna.

He was shouted down, with the Government producing its own census figure and claiming that Chundawat was raising the bogey of missing tigers only because he had been slapped with a hefty fine by the Forest Department for the use of an elephant. The animal, the Government said, had been sought for scientific research but was used to shoot a commercial documentary instead.

It is now clear that in Chundawat’s case, Madhya Pradesh wildlife authorities, in a desperate bid to cover up their own sins, were merely shooting the messenger. It worked for four years but the shocking neglect and apathy have finally caught up with the state’s Forest Department.

Early this year, a Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) team found signs of tiger habitation in Panna but failed to sight the big cat. Their experience confirmed the version of local tour operators that tiger sightings had dwindled alarmingly. In March, experts from WII,who were camping in Panna to carry out a census, tentatively confirmed the worst fears of conservationists—at the most only one tiger was left there.

The decision to relocate tigresses from Bandhavgarh and Kanha to Panna was then made, a tacit admission by the department that the big cat had been run out or hunted down from Panna’s forests. A local now says that one of the tigresses brought in to the reserve was already pregnant. This, he says, was a deception devised by forest officials to allow them to claim that there was a male tiger in Panna, when, in his estimation, the last tiger disappeared from Panna in 2008. The reason behind their disappearance was most probably unchecked poaching. If the tigers had left the habitat due to an imbalance in the natural cycle, relocated tigers would leave too.

Even as the NTCA formed the SIT to investigate the Panna episode, the MOEF wrote to the Madhya Pradesh Government, suggesting that a committee be formed to probe the tiger disappearances from Panna. Meanwhile, the state Government is targeting Sen for allowing the news of the purge of Panna into the public domain. Rather than introspect on his department’s negligence, Additional Chief Secretary, Forests, Prashant Mehta, has written to the Centre, complaining that the SIT shouldn’t have made such disclosures publicly. The messenger has already been shot.

The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, created at the behest of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by amending the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, has seemingly failed to rein in poaching and related offences. A year after it was founded on June 6, 2007, the bureau is still grappling with manpower issues. Against a sanctioned staff of 110, only 25 personnel have been recruited. Rina Mitra, chief of the bureau, says, “It has been a bumpy ride to integrate forest, police and customs officials to combat wildlife crimes.” The state Government has set up a separate probe committee for Panna, which is yet to begin investigations. This slow response reflects the establishment’s attitude to the alarming rate at which the tiger is being hunted down.

The problem continues to grow: there have been six unexplained deaths in the state’s Kanha Tiger Reserve. “Kanha is showing early signs of Panna,” warns Chundawat. Tiger country is slowly but surely losing its stripes.

Fading stripes

• In 2004, it was discovered that Sariska had no tigers. By 2008, all big cats were gone from Panna. • The last tiger census of 2005 put the number of tigers in Panna at 34. • A special investigative team found that officials had tried to camouflage the truth about Panna. • There have also been six unexplained tiger deaths over the past six months in Kanha.

Buxa Tiger Reserve, West Bengal: "No sign of tigers"

The Times of India

Apr 27 2015

Krishnendu Mukherjee

The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) scientists who conducted a nationwide tiger census over four years have stated in their final report that they found no sign of tigers in the north Bengal park.

“Though two tigers were identified in Buxa on the basis of scat-based DNA, our research team has found no tiger sign in the forest,“ says the report, which was recently submitted to the ministry of environment and forests According to the findings, the Buxa tiger population is “declining“ and needs special attention. The Dehradun-based research institute has also questioned the authenticity of the scat samples sent to it by the Bengal forest department.“We took the GPS coordinates of the scat samples from the state foresters and sent our research team there,“ said Y V Jhala, a senior scientist at the institute. “But the team didn't find any tiger sign in and around those areas. So, we could not authenticate the origin of the scats.“

Earlier, there were allega tions that such scat samples were collected from a wildlife rescue centre located near the tiger reserve. A cameratrap exercise, started in Buxa more than a year ago, has also failed to capture any image of tigers. The same exercise, though, has brought to light the existence of rare and elusive animals such as the clouded leopard, marbled cat and Himalayan serow in the reserve.

A separate study by WII, however, has found the movement of about nine tigers in the corridor between Buxa and Assam's Manas Tiger Reserve.


July 29, 2023: The Times of India

I was posted in north Bengal’s Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR) in 2021. I was excited and told myself: ‘Buxa it is’. 
And, why not? It is one of the most unique forests in India in terms of the vast biodiversity found here. Lush green landscape, with beautiful rivers criss-crossing them, is a sight to remember. The natural grasslands that are inhabited by seven magnificent cat species make the forest stand out.

Soon after taking charge in February two years ago, I remember a day when I was out with my team patrolling the forest.

The forest was green — Buxa is one forest that looks draped in a green carpet even when it doesn’t rain. As we were patrolling the forest, we saw a huge leopard, probably a male, resting on the forest tracks — a roadblock none would mind. And, leopards here are very bold and healthy, and Buxa has a very good population of leopards.

Since 2021, I have had many interesting experiences in this north Bengal forest, but the one that will remain very close to my heart is tracking a tiger through its pugmarks and scratch marks on trees in late 2021. Separate forest teams in Buxa were busy looking for the big cat after its pugmarks were noticed in the forest. Finally, in December 2021, one of the camera trap stations placed inside the forest clicked the tiger. It was a eureka moment as a tiger was photographed in Buxa after a gap of more than two decades. We immediately intensified protection measures inside the forest and strengthened conservation efforts.

Spending long hours photographing and documenting herds of elephants inside the forest is another thing that I love. Observing their social life, how they interact with members of their herds are like snippets from the wild — they teach you key lessons of life.

And, the blessings of nature didn’t end here.

On one morning in 2022, while I was out on patrolling duty with my team, we saw 120 wreathed hornbills, considered vulnerable on IUCN Red List, at a single location inside the forest. On one tree there were 30. I made photographs and videos documenting the gift of nature.

Among other key wildlife sightings I had here will be that of a yellow-throated marten and a leopard cat. The swiftness and agility of the leopard cat — like a house cat in size with spots like leopards on body — had taken me by surprise.

A key aspect of my stint of more than two years in Buxa so far will be getting associated with conservation of vultures. And, the vulture conservation breeding centre at Ra- jabhatkhawa has been instrumental in this conservation effort and is probably the most successful such centre in India now. It has so far released 30 captive-bred critically endangered white-backed vultures into the wild till now with satellite tags, known as platform transmitter terminal, through which they are regularly monitored. It has also released Himalayan griffon vultures back into the wild after treatment following their rescue.

In these years, spending time in the forest while executing my duty to protect the greens and its denizens, I have learnt the importance of con- necting with the common people. The more you connect with people, the more you can take the message of conservation to them. Until and unless people get to know about what the species is, how will they feel the connect? And, social media is an important tool today to establish that link with nature.

(Parveen Kaswan, a 2016 batch IFS, posted as deputy field director, west, in West Bengal’s Buxa Tiger Reserve, spoke to Krishnendu Mukherjee)

Kawal Tiger Reserve, Telangana

The Hindu, December 9, 2016

S. Harpal Singh

Curbs on vehicle traffic through tiger reserve go

Telangana government moves to lift curbs on heavy vehicle traffic movement

Soon after resolving to lift restrictions on vehicular traffic through the Kawal Tiger Reserve, the Telangana government is ironically set to pat itself on the back for its “support” to conservation at the Conference of Parties-13 at Cancun in Mexico.

Environment and Forest Minister Jogu Ramanna, who chaired the meeting of the State Board for Wildlife, where decisions of far-reaching consequences were taken, will attend COP-13 from Friday. He will make a presentation on the government’s efforts to protect the environment.

Among the decisions taken at the meeting was the resolution to lift curbs on the flow of heavy vehicle traffic through the tiger reserve. Environmentalists say the move will nullify all that was achieved in terms of tiger conservation.

In fact, conservationists question the very validity of the meeting as it was not chaired by Board Chairman, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

“The gaur or Indian bison, now found only in Kawal in entire Telangana, will go extinct,” opined a conservationist as he dwelt on the controversial move. “Restoration of traffic will effectively fragment the core area and the gaurs will die while crossing the road to reach Godavari river, which they do invariably,” he explained.

The bison constitutes the main prey for tigers and its presence gives much hope for tiger conservation. Kawal has about 250 of these wild animals.

‘Alternative route’

“The government can develop the Tapalpur-Kalamadugu road along Godavari as an alternative as it does not disturb the tiger reserve,” suggested former Jannaram Wildlife Divisional Officer G. Rama Krishna Rao.

Lorry traffic will bring back dhaba culture and provide scope for poachers to sell wildlife meat to lorry drivers and others, he said.

Ranthambore National Park: Rajasthan

See graphic

Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan.jpg; Graphic courtesy: India Today


Nov 09 2016 : The Times of India CAT COUNT - 3 cubs born in Ranthambhore, tiger count now at 63 Rachna Singh Jaipur:

While tigers face threats in several habitats across the country , Ranthambhore National Park is falling short of space to house a booming big cat population.

Three more were added to the park's tiger population when tourists on Tuesday morning sighted the newly born litter of Noor aka T-39, which now takes the big cat number in the park to 63. The tigress was sighted with three cubs.

Y K Sahu, field director of Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve (RTR), said this was the first time that three cubs were sighted. “This is the third litter of T-39. Her previous two litters all male adults and sub-adults have been sighted in the Kailadevi area of the park. This is an indication that Kailadevi area is now conducive as a tiger habitat as earlier tigers that had strayed from Ranthambhore to Kailadevi, either came back or strayed into Madhya Pradesh,“ Sahu said.

There are 40-45 adult tigers in RTR. With semi-adults and cubs, the number swells to 63.“The park needs more space for tigers and we have to secure the entire corridor as a safe habitat through relocation of villages. The reason for tigers staying at Kailadevi is because there is less human intervention,“ said Sahu.

Orang National Park, Assam

The Times of India, Mar 02, 2016

`Mini Kaziranga' is India's 49th reserve

Assam's Orang national park, also known as `mini Kaziranga', has become the 49th tiger reserve in the country, with the state government issuing a notification to this effect. The environment ministry has given the nod for three more reserves at Ratapani (MP), Sunabeda (Odisha) and Guru Ghasidas (Chhattisgarh). The conversion of a wildlife sanctuarynational park to a tiger reserve leads to enhanced central funding for a higher level of conservation, which includes a clear demarcation of core and buffer zones in the forest.

Panna Tiger Reserve , Madhya Pradesh

Rahul Noronha , Tiger “India Today” 12/6/2017

From no tigers in 2009 to a saturation point where it can no longer support its tiger population, the Panna Tiger Reserve has come a long way in the intervening eight years. The 542 square kilometre expanse of forest is currently home to more than 30 tigers, a habitat under threat from the proposed Ken Betwa river link project. Tigers brought into the reserve as part of a source population, under the reintroduction programme initiated in 2009, have bred among themselves and reached these numbers.

Another conservation milestone was attained last week when Panna reported the birth of a third generation of tigers. Two tiger cubs were sighted in the Sarbhanga forests of Chitrakoot district in Uttar Pradesh, 125 km from the Panna reserve. The cubs, aged about five months, are said to be the offspring of a tigress from the Panna reserve assigned the call sign P213-22 and a tiger from the reserve who'd made the Sarbhanga forests their home. "The tigers in Chitrakoot are from the F2 generation. The birth of an F3 generation implies that a meta-population (distinct from the source population) is taking shape elsewhere in the landscape away from the area of the reserve. This is a good sign," said R. Sriniwas Murthy, former field director of Panna Tiger Reserve.

Wildlife experts point out that tigers do wander out of their territories, but the moving out of a tigress from a territory it has grown up in suggests the habitat has reached saturation in terms of tiger numbers. Tigress P213-22 moved out of Panna to the Sarbhanga forests in 2015.

2016: First tiger repository, Dehradun

The Hindu, August 7, 2016

Kavita Upadhyay

Country gets its first tiger repository

The Dehradun-based WII has about 23,000 images of tigers. “This has to be maintained and the Tiger Cell will do that,” Dr. Mathur said, adding that “if a tiger skin is recovered at a place then a properly maintained database can be used to check where the tiger might have come from.”Project clearanceThe Tiger Cell could also help with the development-conservation debate. “When a project needs environmental clearance, our spatial data can be used to overlay the project plan on our maps and check whether the project would interfere [with wildlife habitats that must not be disturbed],” WII Director V. B. Mathur said.

“We have worked with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on tiger conservation and population estimation, and in the process we have generated a huge database,” WII Director V. B. Mathur told.

The Tiger Cell was inaugurated and will be funded by the NTCA, a statutory body under the Environment Ministry.

“The Tiger Cell will assist in population assessment of tigers, law enforcement, wildlife forensics, infrastructural development and mitigation, smart patrolling and advisory role in policy formulation,” said Y.V. Jhala, a wildlife scientist at the WII who will head the Tiger Cell.

“We have been working with the Central government for a long time but this is a formal arrangement where we are institutionalising our contribution,” Dr. Jhala said.

2016: MP, first sanctuary for white tigers

The Times of India, Apr 3, 2016

World’s first sanctuary for white tigers opens in MP

Jayashree Nandi

The world’s first white tiger sanctuary has opened at Mukundpur, 20km from Rewa in Madhya Pradesh. Wildlife experts, though, have been critical of white tiger breeding since it has no conservation value.

The 25-hectare sanctuary at Mukundpur, 20km from Rewa, is currently home to only one white tiger, Vindhya. There are two others in an adjoining zoo. Locals in Rewa consider the white tiger — the colour of whose coat is the result of a genetic aberration — a part of the city's legacy. The first such big cat was spotted here by erstwhile king Martand Singh in 1951. The royal family named him Mohan, and he became "a pet, a family member", says Pushpraj Singh, Martand's son. Mohan's cubs were thereafter distributed to zoos in India and abroad. They were reportedly inbred to create a white tiger progeny. But they disappeared completely from Rewa in 1976. It has been a political issue since because locals associate it with their heritage and believe tourism revenue generated from their return can prove a turnaround for a parched city. The sanctuary was inaugurated by Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar and CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Javadekar said the sanctuary would bring a "7-star status" to Rewa and promised to set aside funds for a safari. Chouhan added that the project would bring jobs as tourists pour in.

Wildlife experts, though, have been critical of white tiger breeding, and believe it's a waste of money since it has no conservation value. Though the colour of the tiger's coat is admired by many, its camouflaging ability is actually compromised, they point out. "White tigers' are animals afflicted with a a condition known as leucism (partial lack of pigmentation), which can be compared to leucoderma in humans. It is seen in many species including chital and even crows. All the white tigers in captivity are result of systematic, repeated inbreeding of the progeny of a single wild male tiger captured in Rewa the 1950's. Secondly, releasing captive bred tigers into the wilds is an activity fraught with many risks, is expensive, demands massive resources. More often than not these experiments have failed going back over 30-40 years. Therefore, I think this project is not of high priority for deploying scarce resources available for tiger conservation," said K Ullas Karanth, noted tiger expert.

"The rest of the world decided a decade ago not to breed white tigers. Creating a sanctuary is just entertainment and fun," said Raghu Chundawat, a conservation biologist.

White tigers have been repeatedly inbred to preserve the colour of the coat, and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums is strictly against breeding practices to increase the physical expression of rare traits "through intentional inbreeding". "...For example intentional breeding to achieve rare color-morphs such as white tigers, deer, and alligators, has been clearly linked with various abnormal, debilitating, and, at times, lethal conditions," it said in a paper. Ecologists also complain that while such projects are showcased, conservation is compromised elsewhere. The MP government recently cleared a large diamond mine inside prime forests near Panna. The MoEF's nod is awaited but, if cleared, the project may spell doom for tigers. The other concern is the Ken-Betwa river linking project that is likely to submerge a large part of the Panna habitat, and could be devastating for tigers and gharials in the region.

Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), Maharashtra

Eco-friendly bridges in Telangana

S. Harpal Singh, Eco-bridges for the movement of tigers, July 18, 2017: The Hindu

Vegetation will camouflage fragmentation of forests along the Pranahita barrage

In a first of its kind, Telangana State will have eco-friendly bridges over a canal cutting across the tiger corridor linking the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra with the forests in Telangana's Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. The intervention requires the laying of fertile soil to grow grass and plants over the structure, so that fragmentation of the reserve forest is camouflaged.

The ‘eco-bridges’ will be constructed at key spots along the 72 km-long, and at some places over a kilometre wide, right flank canal of the Pranahita barrage in the Bejjur and Dahegaon mandals, according to Chief Engineer (Projects) K. Bhagwanth Rao.

One of the locations tentatively earmarked for the eco-bridge is a spot close to Sulgupalli in the Bejjur forest range. Here, the canal is over a kilometre wide and the need to facilitate the movement of wild animals is quite necessary.

The concept emerged after visits by experts from the Wildlife Board of India and the Wildlife Institute of India. They were concerned about the large-scale destruction of pristine forest along the corridor, which would result in cutting off tiger movement between TATR and Bejjur.

The Telangana Irrigation Department has given its consent for the construction of the eco-bridges. Recommendations on the size and locations of the bridges are awaited from the National Board of Wildlife, Mr. Rao said.

In recent years, big cats from the TATR have ambled into the mixed and bamboo forests of the Bejjur range via the Sirpur forests. The TATR and its buffer area, which are contiguous with the Sirpur forests, boast of a speedily multiplying tiger population, the cause of the frequent migration of tigers into Sirpur and Bejjur.

Ramgarh Vishdhari sanctuary, Bundi: 52nd tiger reserve

May 17, 2022: The Times of India

The Ramgarh Vishdhari sanctuary in Bundi, covering the tiger habitat between Ranthambore and Mukundra Hills in Rajasthan, was on Monday notified as the country’s 52nd tiger reserve and the state’s fourth — after Ranthambore, Sariska and Mukundra.

“The new reserve will conserve biodiversity and bring in ecotourism and development to the area. It will facilitate dispersal of tigers from Ranthambore,” tweeted Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav. 
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had given its in-principle approval on July 5 last year to make Ramgarh Vishdhari a tiger reserve.

Nauradehi and Durgavati 2023

May 16, 2023: The Times of India

Bhopal : ‘Tiger State’ Madhya Pradesh is poised to get its seventh tiger reserve with the state government going forward with the notification of Nauradehi and Durgavati Wildlife Sanctuaries as a combined protected area, reports P Naveen. This new reserve, spanning an expansive 2,339 sq km and around 20km from Bhopal, is yet to be officially named and will straddle three districts — Narsinghpur, Sagar, and Damoh.

MP is known for its six tiger reserves: Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Panna, Pench, Sanjay Dubri, and Satpura. Sources say the seventh will be named ‘Durgavati Tiger Reserve’.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) granted preliminary approval for the creation of this new tiger reserve during a recent meeting of its technical committee, confirmed J S Chouhan, Madhya Pradesh’s chief wildlife warden. Establishment of this reserve is a crucial requirement for the Ken-Betwa River linking project.

Tiger reserves in India: Valuation/ accreditation


The Times of India

The economic valuation of India’s 6 tiger reserves

Jan 22 2015

6 tiger reserves worth Rs 1.5L cr: Valuation study

Vishwa Mohan

In a first of its kind exercise, India has conducted economic valuation of six of its tiger reserves and placed their value at Rs 1,49,900 crore. The study has also noted that these six reserves have been generating annual monetary benefits worth Rs 7,970 crore. The six tiger reserves which were surveyed for this study are Corbett, Kanha, Kaziranga, Periyar, Ranthambore and Sundarbans.

India has 47 tiger reserves covering over 2% of the area and approximately 10% of the recorded forest area. Latest tiger census shows that India -which is home to 70% of world's tiger population -has a total of 2,226 tigers.

The valuation study, executed by Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal, at the behest of the environment ministry's National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), provides quantitative and qualitative estimates of benefits accruing from tiger reserves which include economic, social and cultural services.

“The study findings indicate that the monetary value of flow benefits emanating from selected tiger reserves range from Rs 830 crore to Rs 1,760 crore annually . In terms of unit area, this translates into Rs 50,000 to Rs 190,000 per hectare per year,“ said the summary of the report released simultaneously with the tiger census by the Union environment and forests minister Prakash Javadekar.

2019/ MP, Rajasthan tiger reserves score high

January 29, 2019: The Times of India

Panna (Madhya Pradesh) and Sariska (Rajasthan) tiger reserves might have made headlines for losing all their big cats during the 2005-08 period, but both these reserves improved their conservation efforts three years later, after getting tigers from neighbouring protected areas and entered the ‘very good’ and ‘satisfactory’ category list in subsequent independent evaluations.

Results of evaluation of 39 reserves conducted during 2010-11 period were released on Monday as part of a comprehensive global tiger action plan comprising plans of 13 tiger range countries. The aim of the plan is to double the tiger count in these countries by 2022 from 2010 levels.

Outcome of the evaluation, done on the basis of International Union for Conservation of Nature criteria, shows 15 (38%) tiger reserves were in ‘Very Good’ category, followed by 12 (31%) in ‘Good’ category, eight (21%) in ‘Satisfactory’ category and remaining four in ‘Poor’ (10%) category in the list of total 39 evaluated reserves.

Evaluation was done on the basis of overall management and conservation efforts. Conditions of tiger bearing forest, source population of tiger and its prey in tiger reserve, biotic pressure and anti-poaching measures are some of the parameters which were parts of those ‘Management Effectiveness Evaluation’ of tiger reserves.

Reserves which were in ‘Very Good’ category during the last round (2010-11) of evaluation include Annamalai, Bandhavgarh, Pench, Periyar, Kaziranga, Kanha, Satpura and Sundarbans among others. The ‘Poor’ category includes Satkosia in Odisha.

The ‘Action Plan’ was released by India’s environment minister Harsh Vardhan on inaugural day of the third Stock Taking Conference on Tiger Conservation here. The twoday conference is being held for reviewing the progress of St. Petersburg declaration on tiger conservation in the wild across the Asiatic region.

The 13 tiger range countries include Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam. “The fourth cycle of the All India Tiger Estimation, 2018 is currently underway,” said an official.

Tiger habitats

2018: Dibang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh

Naresh Mitra, Tigers spotted at 3,630m in snow-clad Arunachal valley, December 3, 2018: The Times of India

A tiger photograped during a camera trap exercise in Dibang. Tigers may be present at higher altitudes in the valley too, say experts
From: Naresh Mitra, Tigers spotted at 3,630m in snow-clad Arunachal valley, December 3, 2018: The Times of India

A three-year camera trap study has reported the presence of tigers in the snow-clad Dibang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh at the height of 3,630 metres. It might be the highest spot at which the big cats have been sighted, but Aisho Sharma Adhikarimayum — a Wildlife Institute of India (WII) scientist — believes that they may be present in even higher reaches of the mountains.

Adhikarimayum of the WII’s department of endangered species management said there was a possibility that the predators were present beyond 3,630 metres in the valley, like in Bhutan, where a tiger was photographed at 4,200 metres in 2012. He was backed by conservationist Anwaruddin Choudhury, the author of several reports on the wildlife of Dibang Valley. Choudhury told TOI there was a distinct chance of tigers being present in the landscape up to a height of 4,000 metres.

Tiger sightings above 4,000 metres have also been reported in Uttarakhand but no conclusive evidence to back the claim has been found so far. If, according to Adhikarimayum and Chowdhury, tigers do exist above 3,630 metres in the Indian part of the Eastern Himalayas, it would significantly add to conservationists’ knowledge about the species.

The camera trap exercise of which Adhikarimayum was a part, along with WII scientist GV Gopi, was carried out in 2015-17 across 336 square kilometre of the total 4,149 square kilometre area of the Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary (DWS).

The study, which was published in the Journal of Threatened Taxa on November 26, not only gave photographic evidence of tigers at 3,630 metres, it also found 11 individual tigers, including two cubs, in the DWS. As per the study, “A total of 108 camera traps were deployed in 336 square kilometre area, with 13,761 trap nights inside and outside the protected area.”

Tamil Nadu

As in 2020/ Feb 21

Rohan Dua, February 6, 2021: The Times of India

After years of discussion, the Centre has approved tiger reserve status for the sanctuaries spanning the forests of Meghamalai and Srivilliputhur in Tamil Nadu. The 1 lakh-hectare area, home to 63 mammal species and 323 bird species, will be India’s 51st tiger reserve.

Last Wednesday, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) conveyed the approval to the Tamil Nadu government. The note said the Srivilliputhur and Meghamalai sanctuaries will be notified as tiger reserves. The last tiger reserve was notified six years ago in Arunachal Pradesh, Kamlang.

The plan has been about seven years in the works — pug marks were spotted, proposals sent but it was DNA analysis that finally sealed the order. The forest officials had analysed 118 scat samples and confirmed the presence of at least 14 tigers.

Attacks by tigers

People killed by tigers, 2012-May2016, state-wise; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, May 10, 2016

2012-15: 82 attacks

DNA India, 8 Mar 2016

82 incidents of tiger attacking human in 2012-15

Among these incidents, 28 have been reported in 2014-15, 33 in 2013-14 and 21 in 2012-13, he said in Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

Javadekar said the National Tiger Conservation Authority has a multi-pronged strategy to deal with human-wildlife conflict including habitat interventions, restricting habitat interventions, material and logistical support besides others.

Based on the carrying capacity of tigers in a reserve forest, habitat interventions are restricted through an overarching Tiger Conservation Plan, he said.

In case tiger numbers are at carrying capacity levels, it is advised that habitat interventions should be limited so that there is no excessive spillover of wildlife, including tigers, thereby minimising man-animal conflict.

"Further, in buffer areas around tiger reserves, habitat interventions are restricted so that they are sub-optimal vis-a-vis the core tiger habitat areas, judicious enough to facilitate dispersal to other rich habitat areas," he said.

Javadekar said the central government through the National Tiger Conservation Authority has operationalised and funded setting up of Electronic Eye (E-eye) surveillance in Corbett and Kaziranga Tiger Reserves along with Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.

Besides observing the movement of tigers and other animals, E-eye acts as an early warning system wherein movement of poachers and intruders can be viewed before they reach the sensitive areas of tiger reserves, thereby checking any wildife crime.

It also helps in monitoring dispersal of wild animals in human habitations. This facility may be replicated in other tiger reserves also, if needed, he said.

2017: Pilibhit tiger reserve, UP

Keshav Agrawa, Tiger kills woman in Pilibhit reserve; 7th victim so far, Feb 17, 2017: The Times of India

A tigress killed six people within a 4km radius of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve was tranquillised and taken to Lucknow zoo, another tiger mauled to death a 55-year-old woman on Thursday in the Mala forest range, about 30km from the last six killings.

Sub divisional officer of social forestry and in-charge officer of QRT (quick response team) KP Singh said Kalawati, of Mewatpur village, along with two others had gone into PTR to collect firewood when the tiger attacked and killed her between 2pm and 3pm.

Attacks on and deaths of tigers

Poaching of animals: India

Behaviour (of tigers)

Maternal instincts among tigresses

The Times of India, Jun 29 2016

Vijay Pinjarkar

Wildlife experts say tigresses are caring mothers, separating from their cubs only when sure they can take care of themselves, around the age of 17-24 months. However, a popular tigress in Maharashtra's Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), courting a male for the better part of last week after deserting her three one-year-old cubs, has challenged established ideas about big cats and left experts bewildered.Her anomalous behaviour has set off feverish discussions about her possible motivation, with some experts suggesting the mating may be a mother's ploy to distract the male from attacking her cubs, a two males and one female.

Bilal Habib, a scientist with Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, said though unusual, areas with a high tiger density have been witnessing such incidents.“Maya's territory overlaps with that of four males. Mating with them is the best strategy she could have adopted to save her cubs,“ he added, “Had Maya been defiant, her cubs and she could have either been harmed or killed by the other males.“

TATR chief conservator of forests and field director G P Garad backed the view.

According to recent reports, a male tiger named Matkasur is said to have attacked one of the cubs. Naturalist Himanshu Bagde had seen the adult male trailing Maya on June 10 from a water hole. When Bagde reached Pandharpaoni, where Maya lives, Matkasur had charged at one of the cubs, which has not been seen since. Later, Maya was sighted with another male, Gabbar, at the waterhole. There, Matkasur and Gabbar had a fight. The former conceded defeat and moved to the Kosekanar area. After that, for four days, Maya was seen mating with Gabbar. “All I can say is it is evident that there is so much that we don't know about the social behaviour of tigers,“ said Shekar Dattari, a wildlife film-maker.

2018/ 350km: ‘longest distance from home’ record

Vijay Pinjarkar, Maha tiger travels 350km in search of home, creates record, October 31, 2018: The Times of India

In the longest tiger dispersal in the shortest time recorded in the country, a young male travelled around 350km from Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station (CSTPS) in Maharashtra to Palaspani in Betul district of Madhya Pradesh in search of new territory. The tiger is still moving. Now it is 50km away from Melghat Tiger Reserve (MTR) in Maharashtra and 100km from Satpura Tiger Reserve (STR) in MP, according to experts.

“It crossed the busy Amravati-Nagpur NH6, agriculture fields and village roads, and thrice swam across open watery canals of Upper Wardha dam in Morshi before entering Betul district on Monday evening,” said divisional forest officer Harishchandra Waghmode, heading the monitoring operation. Now, MP forest teams too have joined the operation.

Tigers on epic journeys, 2019

Vijay Pinjarkar, Nov 11, 2019: The Times of India

Tigers on epic journeys, 2019
From: Vijay Pinjarkar, Nov 11, 2019: The Times of India

Two young male tigers, both on epic journeys of their own, are walking their way into record books. One has logged 1,160km so far and the other 450km, among the longest recorded distances travelled by any tiger in India, traversing unseen through human landscapes and surviving grave dangers.

C1, a radio-collared tiger from Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary in Pandharkawda in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal, had stepped out of the sanctuary in search of a new “home” on June 21, 2019, after being radio-collared on February 27, 2019. It has so far travelled 1,160km through six districts in two states, Telangana and Maharashtra, moving through human-dominated landscapes virtually without being seen.

The second tiger, K7, is a cub of resident tigress, Falguna, in Kagaznagar (Telangana). It was first recorded on September 11, 2019, in Pranhita Wildlife Sanctuary in Maharashtra. Foresters expected it to return after rains but it was seen further out on October 19 in Allapalli forest division in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli.


Methodology; results of 2006, ’10, ’14

Amit Bhattacharya, Tiger census kicks off with more cameras, mobile app, February 7, 2018: The Times of India

Growth Trend In Number Of Big Cats To Continue: Experts

The largest survey of wildlife anywhere in the world has kicked off. Over the next few months, the all-India tiger census 2018 will use more technology, including a mobile app, with more intensive ground coverage and a higher focus on the northeast to determine the country’s big cat numbers.

The last census, in 2014, had estimated India’s tiger population at 2,226, up from 1,706 in 2010. Most experts expect the growth trend to continue. The results are likely to be announced early next year.

The basic census methodology — double sampling based on ground-based surveys for tiger signs and actual images captured on cameratraps, along with statistical extrapolation — remains unchanged. First introduced in 2006 after the previous “pugmark” surveys were found woefully inaccurate, the double sampling method had estimated India’s big cat numbers that year at just 1,411, ringing alarm bells around the world.

Giving details of this year’s exercise, officials from the National Tiger Conservation Authority and Wildlife Institute of India, which conducts the census, said on Tuesday that ground staff involved in the count will be using a mobile app, MSTrIPES, for the first time.

“The app records the staff’s path through the forest and helps upload geotagged pictures into the central database. This will make the exercise speedier and more accurate,” said Y V Jhala, senior WII scientist who heads the census.

This year’s count will use 14,000 camera traps for capturing tiger images, 4,300 more than in 2014. Individual tigers are identified from camera images through a software that records the animal’s unique stripe pattern. The last census had identified 1,685 tigers, 76% of the total, through images from camera-traps deployed in forests across India.

Another big focus of the census will be to cover northeast India intensively, which hopefully will provide more robust tiger numbers from the region. “Due to various reasons, including accessibility and the fact that tigers there are thinly spread over large areas, northeast wasn’t adequately surveyed in past counts although the entire region was covered. We intend to change that this time by using more cameras and gathering evidences like tiger scats from the ground,” said WII scientist Qamar Qureshi.

The census isn’t about the tiger alone. The 2014 exercise had resulted in the first ever estimate of India’s leopard population, which was put at 11,000. “This exercise will go further, giving us estimates of various carnivores, ungulates and other animals in India’s forests,” said Siddhanta Das, India’s director general of forests and special secretary in the environment ministry.

Famous tigers

The Times of India, 14 Jul, 2015

Tigers like Ranthambore's T24 have been hitting headlines of late for attacking humans. Here are famous big cats from around the country.

Collarwali, the mother of 30 cubs/ 2019

With 30 cubs, tigress sets new Penchmark, January 29, 219: The Times of India

The tigress with one of her four newborns at Pench in MP’s Seoni.
Foresters compare Collarwali’s legend to that of Ranthambore’s world-renowned ‘Machhli’ who died in 2016
From: With 30 cubs, tigress sets new Penchmark, January 29, 219: The Times of India

A 13-year-old tigress from Madhya Pradesh’s Pench Tiger Reserve, popularly known as ‘Collarwali’, has given birth to four cubs, making her the mother of 30 cubs born in different litters over the last ten years and which forest officials feel could be a rare record.

Tourists spotted the Royal Bengal tigress ‘T-15’ with four cubs in Pench, field director Vikram Singh Parihar said confirming the births. The tigress made headlines in April 2017 after expanding her litters by giving birth to four cubs.

Asked whether Collarwali has now become the world’s first tigress to have given birth to so many cubs, Parihar said he has not come across such a feline and was verifying if this is true.

Parihar said this was Collarwali’s eighth litter. “(Earlier) it had given birth to 26 cubs in seven litters,” he said, adding that 21 of the 26 cubs born to her are currently wandering in the reserve.

“The tigress is very beautiful. Its eyes and walk sway everyone. It has now given birth at the age of 14, which itself is the most pleasant surprise,” he said, pointing to the 14-15 year average lifespan of tigers. “Collarwali looks young, and going by her beauty and robust health, she might set another record by living beyond 20. Look at the feline, it seems she might survive 22 years!” Parihar said. The tigress was born in September 2005, he said citing official data. PTI


Machli(T16), Ranthambhor National Park; Picture courtesy: The Times of India, 14 Jul, 2015

One of Ranthambore National Park’s most famous tigers, Machli (T16) has been the subject of a number of documentaries and films and received a clutch of awards. She’s known as the ‘Queen of Ranthambore’ and the ‘Lady of the Lakes’ and once dominated the entire jungle. A You Tube video of her battling and vanquishing a 14ft mugger has more than 5 million views. She’s now 19 years old, weak, toothless and possibly blind in one eye, and the park officials feed her to keep her alive.


Munna, Kanha Tiger Reserve; Picture courtesy: The Times of India, 14 Jul, 2015

Kanha Tiger Reserve’s most famous residents is a tiger called Munna, who can quite easily be identified by his stripes. The marks on his forehead seem to spell out ‘CAT’ and tiger lovers say the ‘PM’ below stands for prime male. Munna has a reputation for following safari vehicles until they pull off the track.

Bamera Male

Bamera male, Bandhavgarh National Park ; Picture courtesy: The Times of India, 14 Jul, 2015

The son of Bandhavgarh National Park’s best known tiger B2 or Sundar, who died in 2011, this dominant tiger is known only as Bamera male. The story is that he left the reserve he was born in but returned a few years later to battle his father and take it over.


Shivaaji male, Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve; Picture courtesy: The Times of India, 14 Jul, 2015

One of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve’s most famous big cats is the dominant male, Shivaaji. The 13-year-old tiger, known for his bulk and aggression, can usually be seen in a 50sqkm area of the southern I Kolsa range of the park.

Human- tiger conflict

2015-18: humans killed; 2012-18: tigers killed

2015-18: humans killed by tigers; 2012-18: tigers killed by humans.
From: Nov 16, 2019: The Times of India

See graphic:

2015-18: humans killed by tigers; 2012-18: tigers killed by humans.

As in 2019

Vijay Pinjarkar, February 12, 2020:: The Times of India

States with maximum big cat casualties due to wire traps, 2010-18
From: Vijay Pinjarkar, February 12, 2020:: The Times of India

It was a rescue that came too late. For almost two years, a tigress in Maharashtra’s Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary had been carrying a wire noose around her neck. When the tigress was spotted on March 17 this year, her injury had worsened and maggots had collected around the wound. The animal was so weak she was barely able to move. She died just hours after she was tranquilized by forest officials in a bid to save her.

Barely a month later, another young tigress was found dead -- her neck held tight by the coils of a wire snare -- in the nearby Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR). And recently, a two-year male tiger was injured after his front paw got trapped in a snare at the Tipeshwar sanctuary.

Every year, tigers and leopards in India are being killed and injured by snares, a threat that doesn’t register when one lists dangers faced by big cats. But in the last nine years, 24 tigers and over 100 leopards in the country’s forests have suffered slow, agonising deaths in these traps.

Sometimes it is organised poachers who lay metal jaw traps to lock in unsuspecting animals, while at others it is local communities that use wire noose snares to kill big cats preying on their livestock. In many cases, felines also become collateral damage in the hunt for bushmeat. But little has been done by respective forest departments to tackle the menace. What’s troubling is the fact that in the latest incidents of tiger deaths in Maharashtra, the snares were laid in core areas of the reserves.

The Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), a non-profit organisation working to combat poaching and illegal wildlife trade, has monitored big cat deaths due to snares for the period between 2010 and 2018. It was WPSI that reported the tiger and leopard deaths apart from multiple instances of injuries to animals.

Experts said that threat from snares needs to be immediately addressed and the forest department should make anti-snare exercises with use of metal detectors a regular part of patrolling. Kishor Rithe from Satpuda Foundation, which works for tiger conservation, said that they had prepared a standard operating practice (SOP) to deal with wire snares in 2012 but it has since been gathering dust.

“We held some training sessions at Chandrapur for field staff but the response was not encouraging. Use of metal detectors in tiger reserves during patrolling could be the first line of defence and help weed out such snares,” said Rithe.

Jose Louies, deputy director and chief, wildlife crime control division and communications, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), said thousands of animals fall prey to wire snares but the issue only gets highlighted when a tiger or a leopard is caught.

Louies said that earlier local poachers used creepers and bamboo traps to poach wild animals. Now binding wires used in buildings, wires from solar fence and bike clutch cables are preferred because these are low on investment, easy to carry, hide, install and quite effective in capturing a wide variety of animals. “Once installed in an animal path or forage, they will go unnoticed,” he said, adding that anti-snare walks could help prevent poaching in fringe areas.

“WTI and the Karnataka forest department have seized over 2,000 snares since 2012. In Karnataka’s Bandipur tiger reserve, we took the help of people from fringe villages to collect initial intelligence on snaring,” said Louies. In Karnataka, anti-snare drives are now part of the patrolling exercise.

In Maharashtra, forest officials admitted that they have regularly seized snares near Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR). Divisional forest officer (DFO) Deepak Chondekar, who spent most of his tenure in and around Tadoba and Gadchiroli, told TOI, “Wire snares are widely used to kill animals. When I was posted in Shivni in 2010, I seized over 100 wire traps. In most such cases, there is no prosecution.”

But the death of the tigress in Tadoba reserve did spur authorities into action. Four suspected poachers have since been arrested and frequent anti-snaring drives are being conducted. Maharashtra principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) Nitin H Kakodkar said, “Periodic anti-wire snare operations will be intensified in park areas with special focus on the peripheries.”

Dr John Goodrich, chief scientist and tiger programme senior director for Panthera, the global wildcat conservation organisation, said, “Direct poaching of tigers and their prey are decimating tiger and prey numbers, especially in south-east Asia. In the short-term, this threatens the existence of tiger populations and even entire subspecies, and in the long-term it renders tigers, their prey, and the ecosystems in which they live less resilient to impacts of climate change and habitat conversion.”


Low on investment

Solar fence wire, bike clutch cable most preferred material


Easy to carry, hide and install to capture many types of animals

Remain unnoticed

Once installed in animal's path, they are not easy to spot


Increased anti-poaching patrol, anti-snare walks

Use of metal detectors during patrolling

Training sessions for field staff

Posters/videos to educate public on cruelty of wire snares

Financial award schemes for local informers

Strict action against those who place snares, even if outside Protected Area

Install solar electric fences to reduce crop raids by wild animals, reducing need for snares

Andhra Pradesh, 2022

Nalla.Babu, Sep 21, 2022: The Times of India

There is something eerie about a camouflaged, almost invisible, predator that leaves a trail of blood and destruction. You watch over your shoulder constantly, expecting it to leap out of its hiding p lace even though it has never attacked humans.

In the villages of Vizianagaram, tigers (there is some doubt about whether there’s one tiger or two) have spread terror for nearly five months without killing a single human being. They have attacked cattle, sheep and wild animals, hunting only in the cover of darkness. While reports of tiger sightings h ave been short on detail, telltale pugmarks and carcasses, and a couple of camera traps, provide proof.

Guests From Odisha?

Tigers live in the forests of neighbouring Odisha but the last time one was spotted in the north Andhra districts was 25 years ago, in 1997, when forest officials had found pugmarks in the Palakajeedi–Matham–Bhimavaram area in undivided Visakhapatnam district. There had been no sign of the big cats since then, so locating the Vizianagaram predator/s is import ant. “As north coastal Andhra is not home to a tiger population, it is suspected that the tiger or tigers have strayed from neighbouring Odisha in search of new territory ,” Vizag region chief conservator of forests P Ram Mohan Rao told TOI.

Five Months Of Terror

The first tiger sighting was reported by a motorist at Birasadavalasa under Mentada mandal on April 12. Then a tiger killed a cow on April 26 between S Kota and Gantyada mandals in Vizianagaram. Later, there were cattle kills in Kakinada and other districts too.

Forest officials first thought it was a leopard, but after seeing the kills and pugmarks at a few locations in the remote villages of Kakinada district on May 27, they concluded that it was a tiger.

With the region in grip of tiger terror, partly fuelled by fake videos of tiger kills, school closing hours in Pedamedapalle and other villages under Mentada mandal were advanced from 5pm to 3pm, to ensur e all students reach home safely.

“People living in parts of Vizianagaram and Anakapalle districts received frantic calls from their relatives in other places enquiring about their safety. Fi nally, the forest officials declared that the videos were fake,” said J Anil Kumar, a resident of Bondapalli in Vizianagaram district.

A Bloody Trail

Thankfully, unlike “the Ghost” and “the Darkness” – two lions that killed dozens of mostly Indian-origin railway workers 124 years ago at Tsavo in Kenya – the elusive tigers of Vizi anagaram only prey on sheep and cattle.

“The tiger attacked and caused injuries to two cows in our locality on August 2,” G Kurma Rao, a young farmer at Kannam village under Dattirajeru mandal in Vizianagaram district, told TOI.

The trail of destruction is much longer, though. Forest officials say the tiger or tigers have killed as many as 30 animals and the last ‘sighting’ (through pugmarks) was on September 5. The department had set cages at strategic places and conducted drone surveys, but the cats remainedelusive. At times they have returned to a kill and taken away the carcass while dodging all traps and the forest department’s attempts to tranquilise them.

One Tiger Or Two?

On May 28, the forest officials set up camera traps that captured a tiger at various locations. It was a sub-adult male tiger (aged 4-5 years). But as the pugmarks captured in Anakapalle and Vizianagaram are slightly different, officials suspect there are two tigers – one in Kakinada and another in Anakapalle. While the Anakapalle tiger is male, the one prowling in Vizianagaram district is female, they say.

“We neither dismiss nor support the possibility of two tigers in the Vizag region,” Vizianagaram district forest officer S Venkatesh told TOI. “The tiger has killed cattle in var ious parts of north Andhra Pradesh. Pictures of the tiger were captured by a camera trap installed near Puligommi in Shikaruganji reserve forest cover in Vizianagaram district on August 23. We have sent the footage of the tiger to the Wildlife Institute of India in Dehradun to get more details, such as the age and gender of the tiger. ”

The legal position

Movement of humans more important than tigers: SC

The Times of India, Jan 21 2016

Dhananjay Mahapatra

SC: Development more important than tigers

The Supreme Court said that the conservation of tigers was important but it could not be done at the cost of movement of human beings from one place to another and general economic development of the country . The court was critical of NGOs which rush to challenge development projects, in this case four-laning of the 37-km-stretch of NH-7 between Nagpur and Jabalpur passing through Pench tiger reserve.

The issue had led to a tug of war between the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court, which had suo motu taken up the issue of widening of NH-7, and the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which claimed to have sole jurisidiction over environ mental issues. Both passed orders that ran counter to each other, leaving the officials of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in a Catch-22 situation. If they obeyed one, they committed contempt of another.

The SC settled the conflict and said the HC would be the forum to deal with the roadwidening issue. A bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi was highly critical of NGOs, including Conservation Action Forum, which had challenged the road-widening project on the ground that it would seriously impede the traditional migration routes of tigers in the reserve.

The bench said, “Tigers are important. But what happens to the movement of traffic? It is not the first time that a national highway is passing through a reserved forest. We are for protecting tigers.“

“Have you all filed any PIL against poaching? Why don't you go and work with those people working at the ground level to protect tigers from poachers? You jump to litigation whenever there is a development project. File a PIL on how to prevent poaching. Real danger to tiger is not from road traffic but poachers,“ the bench said.


Do not kill man-eating tigers, leopards: HC

The Hindu, December 20, 2016

Please see: Leopards: India

After a tigress was declared a ‘man-eater’ and killed in Uttarakhand’s Ramnagar area, the Uttarakhand High Court on Monday ordered that no wild animals in the State, including tigers, leopards, and panthers, should be killed or declared ‘man-eater’.

“No wild animals including tigers, leopards and panthers shall be declared man-eater or rogue and killed in entire State of Uttarakhand,” the Division Bench comprising Justice Alok Singh and Justice Rajiv Sharma stated.

The Court further ordered that the wild animals who posed a threat to human life must be “captured alive by using a tranquilliser gun in the presence of a veterinary doctor. The captured animal shall be thereafter released in the nearby forest or kept in a zoo temporarily and thereafter released in its own habitat”.

Since most of the killings of man-eating leopards and tigers are done by the State forest department, which hires professional hunters for the task, the High Court stated that no private hunters could now be hired by the State government.

Also, after several instances where elephants have been killed due to electrocution, the HC directed the Railway Ministry to “dig up trenches around the electric poles along the railway track in Rajaji National Park, and also to insulate the electric poles by raising a fence to avoid electrocution.”

Project Tiger

1973: Project Tiger

India Today December 29, 2008

The Rs 230-lakh Project Tiger was a Union Government and the World Wildlife Fund joint endeavour in 1973, to check immediate threats to the national animal. “It registered a marked increase in most animal populations in the first decade” (India Today, December 1983). With 1,550 sq km under its canopy, including 15 sanctuaries and national parks, the project cordoned off a third of this land for conservation activities and demarcated the rest as a buffer area, relocating the villages around.

2016-17: increased funding

Central funds for Project Tiger: 2012-16, year-wise; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, Mar 02, 2016

The Times of India, Mar 02, 2016

Amit Bhattacharya, Vishwa Mohan & Indranil Basu

In the biggest budgetary boost for the tiger in recent years, the Centre has hiked its allocation for Project Tiger by nearly 80% for the coming fiscal year, utilising funds collected from the cess on coal, lignite and peat. The Union Budget has approved an allocation of Rs 300 crore for Project Tiger for 201617, up from Rs 168 crore the project had received in the current year. The enhanced funding will come from the `clean energy cess', which the government, in its Budget, increased from Rs 200 per tonne to Rs 400. It has also been renamed the `clean environment cess'.

The cess, to be deposited in what will now be called the national clean environment fund, will be used not only to develop renewable energy sources, but also to fund various environment protection measures, including Project Tiger, wildlife conservation, abatement of river pollution etc.

Allocations for the tiger had been slashed by 13% in the last Budget, leading to accusations by wildlife activists that the Modi government was neglecting the conservation of the striped cat.

The huge increase in funds for 2016-17, however, comes with a catch. The finance ministry has stuck to the condi tion, introduced last year, that the respective states contribute 40% of the non-recurring expenditure on tiger reserves.

As per the earlier funding pattern, the Centre provided 100% of non-recurring expenses -which includes compensation for villagers relocated from tiger habitats, equip ment for the special tiger protection force etc -while the recurring costs were shared equally by the Union government and the state where the tiger reserve is located.

“During 2015-16, many states were caught unawares by the change in funding, and crucial projects couldn't be implemented.With the enhanced funding, both the Centre's and the states' share will increase.Which means, states with tiger reserves should prepare to increase their allocations,“ a source said.

An official said Project Ti ger funds for the next fisca would also be used to host the next Asia ministerial confer ence on tiger conservation here. The three-day meet will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 12.

According to the 2014 tiger census, India has 2,226 tigers with the three southern states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala of the Western Ghats landscape recording nearly one-third of the coun try's big cats.

India has over the years re corded an increase in its tiger population. If one compares the 2014 figure with that re corded in 2006, the increase across the country has been phenomenal with over 800 more tigers recorded two years ago. The country had 1,411 ti gers in 2006, with 1,706 record ed four years later in 2010.

Protection measures, aggressive

2009/ ban on night traffic

With ban on night traffic, Bandipur road kills down, July 25, 2018: The Hindu

They drop from 93 between 2004 and 2009 to eight in last four years

There is a significant reduction in the number of road kills in Bandipur ever since the ban on night traffic through the tiger reserve was introduced in 2009.

There were as many as 93 wildlife deaths from 2004 to 2009 before the ban on night traffic on the two national highways cutting through the tiger reserve — one connecting Gundlupet and Wayanad, and the other connecting Gundlupet and Ooty — was introduced.

The number declined to 34 between 2010 and 2018 once the ban came into effect, as per the statistics maintained by the Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

Ambadi Madhav, Director, Bandipur Tiger Reserve, said there were as many as 32 deaths in 2004, which increased to 41 in 2007. But once the ban on night traffic came into effect, there was a steady decline in the number of animals being killed by speeding vehicles, he said. Statistics indicate that eight animals have died in the last four years and only one death was reported in 2016.

“Before the introduction of night traffic ban, there were instances of mega carnivores and elephants being killed by the vehicles. But it is no longer the case ever since the introduction of the ban, and most deaths pertain to the spotted deer that are found in plenty,” said Mr. Madhav.

The year 2004 was the worst as far as road kill was concerned: an elephant was mowed down by a speeding vehicle while other animals classified as highly endangered, such as palm civet, jungle cat, leopard, tiger, and sloth bears too died under similar circumstances.

Case in SC

Traffic has been banned through the tiger reserve from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. following a directive issued by the Chamarajanagar district administration in 2009. This was challenged in the High Court of Karnataka, which upheld the decision and the issue is now pending before the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court had directed that a committee comprising officials from the Transport Department of Karnataka and Kerala and the Centre, apart from representatives of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), be constituted to study the issue.

Mr. Madhav said the committee members visited Bandipur three months ago and conducted an inspection.

P. Sridhar, PCCF (Head of Forest Force), said the State was firm on maintaining night traffic ban through Bandipur in the interest of wildlife conservation. “We have already conveyed our stance to the apex court which is hearing a petition filed by Kerala and stakeholders from the transport sector. Even the NTCA was supportive of our actions,” he added.

2017/ BBC banned for 5 years

Vijay Pinjarkar, Kaziranga report gets BBC banned, Feb 28, 2017: The Times of India

Stung by a BBC documentary questioning India's aggressive protection measures at Kaziranga national park in Assam, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) that governs all tiger reserves in the country has imposed a ban on the network and its journalist Justin Rowlatt for five years.

As reported by TOI on February 15, BBC's South Asia correspondent Justin Rowlatt's documentary titled `One World: Killing for Conservation' on Kaziranga's rhino conservation methods came in for sharp criticism from the Union environment ministry for being “grossly erroneous“.The documentary claimed forest guards in Kaziranga had been given powers to shoot and kill anyone they think was a threat to rhinos.

In a memorandum is sued on Monday , NTCA said BBC had failed to submit the documentary to MoEFCC and the MEA for obligatory previewing. It has asked chief wildlife wardens of all tiger range states and field directors of tiger reserves to disallow filming permission to BBC in any of the protected areas for a period of 5 years.

2019/ AI to reduce poaching in Rajasthan

Arpita Misra, Nov 26, 2019: The Times of India

Was it the rustle of leaves, a little bird attempting its first flight, or a big cat on the prowl that pierced the stillness of the night? Generations of conservation biologists, animal scientists and indigenous tribesmen have tried to decode the ways of the wild. While traditional methods of data gathering have been in vogue for centuries, human beings are prone to errors. And they are often unable to provide real-time actionable intelligence.

About a year ago, the Rajasthan government partnered with US analytics company SAS to assist with intelligent analysis and interpretation of data derived through 24x7 automated and semi-automated surveillance of wildlife at several nature parks in the state — the famous Ranthambore National Park, Sariska Tiger Reserve, Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve, Jawai Bagh Leopard Conservation Centre, and Jhalana Leopard Safari Park. Cameras were installed across these parks, and computer vision technologies and text analytics capabilities were deployed to help spot critical incidents, eliminate false detections, and optimise the beat patrol of forest guards.

“The protected areas are understaffed and face a lot of anthropogenic pressures,” says Arindam Tomar, chief wildlife warden in the Rajasthan government’s forest department. The boundaries, he says, are long and unprotected. “Poaching, illicit felling and illegal grazing have to be controlled and eliminated. This system will be able to locate such issues, thereby reducing patrolling efforts. Once a report is received, rapid response teams can be activated,” he says.

Raghavendran Kandaswami, associate director (advanced analytics & AI) at SAS Institute India, says these kind of automated systems — where instincts and knowledge are coupled with data-driven insights — can make a marked difference.

Bhavuk Agarwal, senior business manager at SAS, who presented the Rajasthan story at a recent Analytics Experience conference in Milan, Italy, says wildlife management faces two critical challenges — poaching and human-animal conflict. To deal with this, a four-pronged approach was adopted — capture live imagery through a robust camera infrastructure with video-management software and AI capabilities, pull data from social media and other platforms on wildlife sightings, create a centralised monitoring centre, and have a pre-emptive analytical surveillance and real-time response system.

Before the project — funded and implemented by the IT department — was rolled out, the government set up the monitoring infrastructure, which included closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs), video cameras with ranges up to 9-12km, thermal night vision cameras, PTZ (pan-tiltzoom) cameras and traditional camera-trap infrastructure (remotely installed cameras that are activated by motion or heat). Wi-Fi zoning was done for real-time streaming of information to monitoring centres. SAS says the forest department had been engaging in some form of surveillance, but without the video infrastructure that it has today. However, traditional methodology meant a lot of offline data — less for actionable intelligence, more for research.

“Earlier, the idea of this project was to set up camera infrastructure and have containerised control and command centres, where officials would look into video feeds and try to act upon intelligence they managed to conceive. This meant humans looking at hours and hours of video, something that’s practically impossible. That’s where we said, when you are deploying a project of this nature it is important to embed AI capabilities. Hence, we deployed computer vision models that SAS developed for this project. We trained our models to detect five critical subjects — tigers, leopards, cattle, humans and vehicles,” says Kandaswami. Forest officials say that though the project is still evolving, they can see its potential.

SAS aims to considerably eliminate false-positive detections, enhance the degree of efficiency of officials working as part of the monitoring centres, and assist in early detection of circumstances, which could translate into swifter action. The company is also considering the use of edge computing in the next phase. This refers to technology that enables data to be processed by the small device in a remote location that is capturing them, instead of sending the information to a data centre for processing. That would enable even faster response times. “In the next phase, we also intend to track a whole other set of animal species significantly prone to poaching,” says Kandaswami.

Seizure of tigers, and parts

2000-2015: India recorded most seizures

records highest number of tiger seizure: Report, PTI | Nov 16, 2016

According to a report by wildlife trade monitor, India has recorded the highest number of seizure of tigers and parts among all 13 tiger range countries

The report said India has observed a rapid decrease in number of seizures reported since 2010.

The highest number of seizures was recorded in 2009 & the lowest in 2013.

KOCHI: India has recorded the highest number of seizure of tigers and parts among all 13 tiger range countries, accounting for 44 per cent, according to a report by wildlife trade monitor released.

Titled 'Reduced To Skin And Bones Re-Examined: Full Analysis', the report said such incidents of smuggling of tiger and tiger parts reveal failure of tiger range countries in ramping up enforcement, closing tiger farms and strengthening laws.

"India, the country with the highest population of wild tigers globally, also recorded the highest number of seizure - a minimum of 540 tigers seized over 16 years," said the report, which is a comprehensive analysis of 16 years.

The report prepared by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, has found all tiger range countries continued to grapple with the persistent problem of the big cat being removed from the wild and on ways to break the chains of supply and demand.

"During the 16-year period under review, India had recorded the greatest number of seizures of all tiger range countries, accounting for 44 per cent of the total. It reported seizure of a minimum of 540 tigers and a maximum of 622 tigers, the minimum accounting for 30 per cent of the total," it said.

The report, released on Wednesday on the eve of international conference on illegal wildlife trade being held in Hanoi, also said in contrast with the other countries, India has observed a rapid decrease in number of seizures reported since 2010.

The highest number of seizures was recorded in 2009 and the lowest in 2013.

"While the overall number of tigers seized has decreased, the proportion of skins seized remains a high proportion of the seizures but to a lesser degree," the report said, describing Indian scenario.

The report, which showed the location of all reported seizures in India with spot details and a map, has illustrated "three hotspots, the greatest comprising the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu".

It said these issues existed to varying degrees across all the 13 Tiger range countries scrutinized, evidenced by the minimum of 1,755 tigers seized from 2000-2015, an average of more than two animals per week.

Encroachment of land of forests is the biggest enemy of not only tigers but other species like Rhino ,Lion & Indian Bustard etc.

Kanitha Krishnasamy, Senior Programme Manager for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia and a co-author of the report, said laws in most countries are weak and without fundamental structures in place, success of any enforcement action is greatly undermined.

"Wild Tiger range countries must step up their game to beat the odds of extinction," Krishnasamy said.


The Panthera tigris, and its habitat

WWF India

Where are tigers found in the wild [in South Asia]?

In the wild, tigers are found in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar. The surviving sub species of tiger include:

Indian Tiger or Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) found in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh;

Indo-Chinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti) is also found, inter alia, in Myanmar

The three sub species of tigers that became extinct in the [1900s] include: the Caspian Tiger (Panthera tigris virgata) that was found, inter alia, in Afghanistan.

What is an Indian tiger?

The tiger has an orange coat patterned with broad black stripes. It has black ears, each with a winking white spot on the back, powerful forepaws, and a long banded tail. The total length of the tiger from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail is between 2.6 to 3 meters and it weighs anywhere between 135-280 kgs. The average life span of a tiger in the wild is about 14 to 16 years.

The Indian/Bengal tiger is found mainly in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. The diet of an Indian tiger mainly consists of large wild ungulates such as chital (Axis axis), sambar (Cervus unicolor), barasingha (Cervus duvacelii), nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus) and gaur (Bos gaurus) and other animals such as the wild pig (Sus scrofa). It is an opportunistic feeder and can also kill large prey such as elephant calves (Elephas maximus), gaur (Bos gaurus) and wild buffalo (Bubalis arnee). Tigers may occasionally also kill sloth bear and leopards as well as smaller prey such as peafowl, langur, jungle fowl, hare etc.

Due to their large body size tigers are not good tree climbers like leopards. They can only climb along large leaning trees. But tigers are excellent swimmers and love water. Tigers are known to swim between islands in the Sunderbans.

Where do you find tigers in India?

Tigers are found in a variety of habitats, including tropical and sub tropical forests, evergreen forests, mangrove swamps and grasslands. In India, tigers are found in 19 states. For the better management of tiger habitats, forests have been demarcated as Tiger reserves, National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries, also known as Protected Areas. There are 39 Tiger Reserves in our country today, some of which were added recently. For more details about the tiger reserves visit www.projecttiger.nic.in

What are white tigers?

White tigers are not a separate sub-species, but are white in color due to an expression of recessive genes. Interestingly, the white tigers are found only among the Indian tigers and can only be seen only in captivity now. The last white tiger reported in the wild was captured in the forests of Rewa in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The white tigers found in the zoos today are most likely descendants of this one tiger that was caught from the wild in Madhya Pradesh and later bred in captivity. White tigers have pink noses, white-to-cream coloured fur, and black, grey or chocolate-coloured stripes. Their eyes are usually blue, but may be green or amber.

2017, Nilgiris: "White" tigers

B. Aravind Kumar, The first ‘white’ tiger found in Nilgiris in early 2017 has a brother who’s also white, November 8, 2017: The Hindu

The rare, pale-skinned ‘white’ tiger was spotted for the first time in the Nilgiris earlier in 2017 by a wildlife photographer. It now turns out that this animal is not the only one of its kind. It has a family, and its brother is also ‘white’, though its mother and sister have normal coats.

The family of four was sighted spending some quality time together in the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve by M. Santhanaraman, additional government pleader for Forest departm-ent at the Madras High Court and Dr. C.P. Rajkumar, a member of the Tamil Nadu State Wildlife Board.

“Of the four, two are white tigers. We have observed that in this group, one is the mother and three are cubs that have grown up to be as big as the mother. One cub is a female with a regular coat, while the two white cubs are males,” said Mr. Santhanaraman.

“The presence of one white tiger had been reported earlier by a wildlife photographer. Now we have sighted two white tigers, and they are part of the same litter,” he said, adding that such ‘white’ tigers in the wild are a rare phenomenon. Neither of these animals are 100% white. They are pale, with coats much lighter than the usual orangey yellow.

“It may be due to genetic aberration,”said H. Basavaraju, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and the head of the forest force in Tamil Nadu. “The two tigers are pale probably because of inbreeding. The recessive genes may not have been fully expressed. That is the reason these tigers are not fully white but pale,” said a wildlife official.

“It might be only a matter of time before the two white cubs part from their mother. They are as big as their mother already. Once they attain adulthood, they could easily become the biggest tigers in the landscape,” said Dr. Rajkumar.

It is believed by wildlife experts that the tigers’ coats are pale due to reduced levels of the pigment melanin in a phenomenon called ‘leucism’.

Tiger disappearance

2004-09: Lack of space linked to tiger disappearance?

The Times of India, Mar 22, 2016

Panna Tiger reserve, some facts; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, Mar 22, 2016

Jayashree Nandi

Tigers need much more space than our protected areas or tiger reserves provide for currently. While that's true for all wildlife, a recent study published this month in Biological Conservation journal has highlighted how lack of space could be linked to a fast disappearance of tigers from certain habitats, particularly tropical dry forest areas. Sariska and Panna tiger reserves, both tropical dry forests experienced complete extinction of tigers in 2004 and 2009; the study explains what may have led to their complete disappearance.

Some tigers have been re-introduced in Panna and Sariska.

The study documents the space requirements of tigers in Panna tiger reserve before the extinction of tigers only to find a major mismatch in scale of their ranges and the sanctuary size, which exposes tigers to various anthropogenic threats including poaching and retaliatory killings outside the boundary. The reason for such large home ranges of tigers in tropical dry forests is still being studied, authors said but could be linked to ecological factors like prey population, water or shade. The study involved field studies between 1996 and 2005 that monitored tiger movement through radio telemetry and direct sightings in the 543 sqkm area of Panna. Annual home ranges of both male and female tigers were estimated and then overlaid on the sanctuary area boundary revealing how home ranges often breached the sanctuary boundary. According to the authors, this is the first comprehensive study of tiger home ranges in a tropical dry forest area and one of the longest studies on tiger in the sub-continent. The study documented detailed information on six radio-collared tigers over a period of nine years. While conducting the nine-year observations, the team also found some intriguing features. For instance, "Male tiger territories were not exclusive as generally believed. Instead, it was observed that females mated with several males in addition to the territorial tiger. But the role of these non-territorial males can be important but little is known about these tigers," said Raghu Singh Chundawat, lead author of the study.

The team concluded that home range of breeding or nursing tigers extended beyond the boundary of the sanctuary.

In fact what happened in Panna and Sariska are a part of a larger trend, researchers warned. The largest tiger habitat in India is in tropical dry forest category. But the probability of survival of tigers in these areas is much lower than in other habitats like tropical moist forests, alluvial grasslands or mangroves. Interestingly, more than 85% of the sanctuaries located in tropical dry forests are way smaller than Panna and have either lost the tigers already or sit with high risk of tiger extinction.

Quite sad. Unfortunately, with the current environmental policies, or lack thereof, there doesn't seem to be any probability for the long term survival of tigers in India.

"The bottom line is that tigers need more space, and one may need to think out of the box, if tigers are to have a future in the already stressed landscapes," said Koustubh Sharma, co-author of the study. The study recommends that a straight forward solution to the problem will be to protect larger forest areas but that's a difficult proposition in human dominated areas. "Small patches embedded in large landscapes can be conserved as a series of stepping stones to interconnect populations," the study said.


Anindo Dey and Ajay Singh, March 2, 2020: The Times of India

The number of ‘Missing tigers’ at Ranthambore, 2009-19
From: Anindo Dey and Ajay Singh, March 2, 2020: The Times of India
How tigers have died in Ranthambore, 2009-19
From: Anindo Dey and Ajay Singh, March 2, 2020: The Times of India
Where Ranthambore's tigers went missing, presumably between 2009 and 2019
From: Anindo Dey and Ajay Singh, March 2, 2020: The Times of India

As the vehicle manoeuvres through the mud tracks in sun and shade, it first spots the sudden bark of the sambhar as monkeys scurry up the trees. Soon, the gold and black haze visible through the bush becomes clear as the tiger steps out. It’s what dreams are made of and the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve (RTR) has over the years gained ‘notoriety’ for fulfilling them.

It is the draw for thousands of tourists as they pour in from all corners of the world. “I have been to Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, Botswana in South Africa and several other parks across the globe. But the sightings in Ranthambore are the best. The dry, deciduous forest here makes sightings easier. Besides, sighting a tiger in the wilderness is a class apart,” said an excited Mustafa Alam Khan, a tourist from Hyderabad who chanced upon two tigers during his morning safari.

He is not alone. The scores of smiling faces as vehicles escort tourists out after a safari speak volumes of their 'date' with the tiger. But the smiles, warn experts, may be short-lived. With an alarming 30 tigers going missing from RTR in the last decade, it may not be long before the reserve loses its sighting-friendly tag to some other park unless immediate steps are taken.

Since 2009, the park has mysteriously lost seven old and 23 young tigers. Among the 23 are 11 females which do not usually venture out for creating a territory, like the males. In the past two years alone, five tigers have gone missing — T-9, T-20, T-77, T-78 and T23.

This data, however, does not include 22 other tigers that died — some of which were natural deaths and whose bodies were traced or those that were killed in territorial fights, due to human intervention or were poisoned by villagers. There were also some cases where the cause of death still remains a mystery. In addition, 18 tigers were either shifted to Sariska and Mukundra reserves or had migrated to other forests outside the state or been put into captivity due to “abnormal” behaviour.

Two areas in the reserve were of particular concern. “A careful analysis of the data on missing tigers reveals that over the years, the reserve has developed two black holes in the north-east and south-east areas of the park adjoining Sawai Man Singh sanctuary. Most of the tigers that went missing were last sighted in these areas,” said conservation biologist Dharmendra Khandal of Tiger Watch.

One of the black holes identified is in the region between Sanwata and Quila Khandar with its centre at Banpur. The other is the Kanduli, Kharda Ka Nala and Bhairupura region. In the first black hole, 11 tigers went missing after being sighted, while the second black hole saw eight tigers go missing. About 60% of all tigers went missing from these two areas of the park.

Both these areas are natural outlets from the reserve but adjoin 13 villages. Officials conceded that big cats venturing out of the park through nullahs was a menace. Because the land here is fertile and there is plenty of water, extensive farming took place. “These natural nullahs open towards the Chambal area which is surrounded by villages. The farmland is owned by villagers and tigers are at risk if they venture outside. We have also deployed additional guards at the post, but cannot restrict the animal walking out through natural path,” said Ranthambore divisional forest officer Mukesh Saini.

To keep animals away, villagers electrified fences, but were often themselves victims of electrocution. "After the deaths of two villagers due to electrocution, subsequently, bodies of two tigers — T-45 and T-46 — were found in Khandar. Both deaths were due to revenge killing. Bombs used as baits for animals have also been recovered from these areas as was a snared leopard once,” said Khandal.

Another reason for the missing tigers was because their deaths often went unreported. “Villagers lay traps and tigers get killed. The body is then quietly buried as they do not want to get into trouble. Sometimes, it is also a case of migration to other states with officials not following it up,” Khandal said.

“However, we would soon constitute a committee to ascertain the exact number of missing tigers from the park,” he added.

But despite the growing vulnerability of tigers at the park in recent years, there was little support for an already over-worked forest department. “Not only are we under-staffed, but are always catering to VIP tourists’ safaris throughout the year. Most of our seven jeeps and our staff have to be deployed for VIP duty as requests pour in from the high and mighty. Special forces like the Special Tiger Protection Force, which was to be developed, have remained a pipe dream,” explained forest officials.

Suggestion were quick to pour in for better safety of tigers. "Some of the prevailing chokis or nakkas have become redundant over the years and they need to be placed more strategically. Lakarda, Sultanpur, Chandali, Berda should be relocated. Night patrolling, that last of which took place in 2017, should be resumed. The department must also maintain a log book of sightings and develop an intelligence network in the park so that more information is forthcoming. Vehicles for patrolling and those for VIP safari must be separately earmarked," officials suggested.

Former honorary wildlife warden Balendu Singh, however, felt it was natural for tigers to go missing because of the large landscape. "Tigers straying is a natural process. The reserve still has 51 tigers in Division I of RTR which itself is a success story," he said, going to on add, "However, if there are incidents of poaching it is a matter of grave concern and should be promptly looked into.”

Tracking the tiger population

India Today.in , Counting the big cats,one photo at a time “India Today” 15/12/2016


Tiger tracking

Counting the big cats,one photo at a time

How do you count the number of tigers in a jungle? Before 1995, the accepted method was for trackers and gamekeepers to enter the forest, and count the number of unique pug-marks that could be found. Aside from being imprecise and difficult to verify, such methods also put those who undertook such studies at great risk. In 1995, a Karnataka-based conservation zoologist, K. Ullas Karanth, suggested that instead of the laborious, once-every-five-years 'headcount' undertaken by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, camera traps and statistical models should be used. A camera trap is essentially a camera equipped with a motion sensor. After a network of such cameras has been installed in the forest, the data gathered is then put through a rigorous statistical analysis to produce an estimate of the tiger population.

The M-STRiPES app/ 2017

R. Krishna Kumar, November 21, 2017: The Hindu

Field data collection for tiger enumeration in the country is set to go digital in order to reduce human error and provide more reliable estimates. In the All-India Tiger Estimation, to be taken up in December-January, the authorities plan to eliminate the process of manual recording of signs of the carnivore and other habitat details.

Instead, an app named M-STRiPES (Monitoring System For Tigers-Intensive Protection and Ecological Status) developed by the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, will be used for the first time. Though the app has already been in place in some national parks, its usage and application has been made mandatory only now, for the fourth All-India Tiger Estimation.

P.S. Somashekar, director general of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), southern region, told The Hindu that the use of the app would ensure a more robust estimate. “All these years, data pertaining to carnivore signs, pellets and status of habitat was manually recorded in the prescribed format on a paper by the field staff, but this exercise was prone to errors. With the availability of M-STRiPES, human error will be eliminated,” he said.

It is a free app that will be made available to staff participating in the tiger census exercise, and they will feed in their observation during the carnivore sign survey and transect marking. Details such as pellet density, vegetation status and human disturbance, if any, will also be recorded.

Training for staff

The field staff and senior officials of the Forest Department will be trained on how to use the app at a programme in Bandipur and Mudumalai from December 5 to 7.

Ambadi Madhav, director of Bandipur Tiger Reserve, said: “This programme will [be to] train the trainers, and they in turn will impart the skills to junior staff in their jurisdiction.” Besides, key technical staff involved in operation of the software will undergo an advanced training course in Delhi in December.

Use of the app in habitat monitoring is not new. Bandipur had Hejje or Pugmark, an Andrioid-based app, while BRT started with Huli. The GIS-based app will give real-time data on forest habitats besides providing live update of monitoring and patrolling activities. But the nationwide introduction of M-STRiPES paves the way for greater standardisation and elimination of inconsistencies in data interpretation.

Counted every four years

The national tiger estimates are conducted once in four years, with the first conducted in 2006. That exercise pegged the tiger count at 1,411, with the statistical lower limit pegged at 1,165 and the upper limit, 1,657. In 2010, the count changed to 1,706, with 1,520 being the lower limit and 1,909 the upper limit.

In 2006, Karnataka accounted for 290 tigers, with a lower limit of 241 and an upper limit of 339. In 2010, the count was 300 tigers, with the lower limit pegged at 280 and the upper limit, 320.

The Western Ghat landscape, comprising Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Goa, accounted for 776 tigers in 2014, with the Bandipur-Nagarahole-Mudumalai-Wayanad complex harbouring 570 tigers — reckoned to be the world’s single largest tiger population in a landscape.

The last nationwide assessment, held in 2014, pegged the tiger figures across the country at 2,226. Karnataka alone was home to 400 tigers, a bulk of them in Bandipur and Nagarahole.

Translocation of tigers


Riyan Ramanath, May 16, 2023: The Times of India

What went wrong in tiger translocation?
From: Riyan Ramanath, May 16, 2023: The Times of India
Translocation of tigers from Sariska Tiger Reserve to Satkosia Tiger Reserve
From: Riyan Ramanath, May 16, 2023: The Times of India

India’s first inter-state tiger translocation project had failed miserably with two tigers brought from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve and Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh failing to make Satkosia Tiger Reserve in Odisha their habitat. 
On June 22, 2018, Odisha became the first state to embark on inter-state translocation of tigers at Satkosia, just a decade-old sanctuary that was converted into reserve to lend fresh lease of life to wild breeding of tigers. 

Satkosia reserve comprises two wildlife divisions — Mahanadi and Satkosia. It is the second biggest tiger reserve in the state after Similipal. Currently, Satkosia has no big cats.

Introduced in late summer and close to onset of monsoon, the ambitious translocation project received a massive jolt within a month of the male tiger Mahavir or MB2 brought from Kanha falling prey to poachers. The tiger had deep wound around its neck, like it was ensnared. The wildlife wing remained in denial mode trying to prove that the death wascaused due to other reasons.

The female tiger Sundari, which had had been brought from Bandhavgarh on June 29, 2018, turned man-eater after its release in the wild from a temporary enclosure after around 40 days. Three months into the wild, Sundari allegedly killed two persons. It was then darted and brought to the enclosure again. Sundari had to return to Kanha and then to a zoo there, not to become a mother ever.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had pointed out that prerequisite conditions for re-introduction of tigers in Satkosia, such as prey augmentation, creation of inviolate space, eco-development, capacity building of staff and enhancement of protection couldn’t be achieved despite sufficient fund being provided. 
NTCA has observed that the funds provided under Project Tiger were diverted without authorization from the central government. “Even aftersubstantial fund release from the Centre, the project didn’t show any significant output,” the NTCA report said.

On resumption of tiger translocation project inOdisha, state chief wildlife warden SK Popli said, “There has been no discussion so far in 
this regard. ”

Wildlife activist Biswajit Mohanty said the officers concerned didn’t follow SOP while introducing tigers to a new landscape. “In case of death of male tiger, they misguided the government that it was killed because of porcupine attack, although NTCA has pointed out poaching,” Mohanty said.

See also

Arunachal Pradesh: Fauna

Ranthambore National Park

Sariska Tiger Reserve, Sarunda

Shahdol and tigers


Personal tools