January 23, 2015 1:39:30 am
The all-India tiger estimation report has put the total number of tigers in the Northeast at 201, a significant increase from 148 recorded in the 2010 count.
Of the 167 tigers counted in Assam, more than 125 are believed to be at the Kaziranga National Park, which is great news for a park more in the news for poaching of its rhinos.
“The number of tigers is definitely increasing in Kaziranga. While a park- and sanctuary-wise break-up is yet to be released, that Kaziranga’s tiger population is on the rise is evident from more sighting of cubs in the current season,” Kaziranga Park Director M K Yadava said.
Altogether 18 to 20 tiger cubs have been sighted in different pockets of the national park, he added, while one male cub had to be shifted to the state zoo in Guwahati after it was separated from its mother.
“The most positive aspect of Kaziranga is that tigers have never been targeted by poachers here,” says Park DFO S K Seal Sarma.
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In contrast, Kaziranga has lost three rhinos to poachers in the current year already, while 27 were killed in 2014. All the three tigers who died in Kaziranga last year died due to natural causes.
Apart from Kaziranga, Assam has tigers in its three national parks of Nameri, Manas and Orang.
Arunachal Pradesh has also seen its tiger numbers jump, to 28. According to Arunachal Pradesh PCCF (Wildlife) Onkar Sing, that is due to better habitat management coupled with stringent protection measures.
Arunachal has two tiger project areas — the 1,985-sq km Namdapha National Park and 861.95-sq km Pakke Tiger Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary.
The 500-sq km Dampa tiger reserve in Mizoram has three tigers, the report said.
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