Madhya Pradesh has recorded a 20% increase in tiger numbers — from 257 in 2010 to 308 in 2014 — as per the latest tiger census released by union minister for environment and forests Prakash Javdekar on Tuesday.
The state, however, failed to regain the top position among states, that it had lost to Karnataka in 2010 and has in fact slipped to number 3 as per the census findings announced on Tuesday.
Madhya Pradesh is expected to move up to the number 2 slot after tiger numbers from Satpura tiger reserve — where the census remains incomplete — will be added to the final result.
Data collection for the census report that was announced on Tuesday was carried out in 2014. Across India, the mean figure for tiger numbers increased from 1,706 in 2010 to 2,226 in 2014.
Chief wildlife warden, MP, Narendra Kumar said he is satisfied with the numbers. "We have recorded a 20% increase in tiger numbers which is a better performance than last time. Figures for Satpura tiger reserve have not been included in the census. After those are added, MP would be back to being the state with 2nd highest tiger population," he said. Satpura is expected to add another 40 tigers to MP's tally.
On not regaining the tiger state tag from Karnataka, the chief wildlife warden said Karnataka had shown a higher increase than MP and had fared better.
In the 2010 census, MP was number 2 in the country with 257 tigers while Karnataka recorded the highest number of tigers at 300. In 2006 census, MP had recorded 300 tigers while Karnataka had recorded 290.
Detailed reserve-wise tiger numbers would be made available to the states by March. The reason for release of census findings without completing the exercise were being attributed to the haste shown by a top mandarin who is set to superannuate on January 31.
MP has six tiger reserves and about 10,000 square kilometres of forests that are covered with sanctuaries and national parks.