With the country's tiger population pegged at an all-time low of 1,411, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh is hoping for some "good news"--higher numbers-- in the new tiger census based on scientific approach.
The new census will be out in November.
Ramesh also lauded the states for their "right leadership and structured administration" in conservation of
the big cats.
"I don't know what we are going to see. We are just receiving the data from states. I seriously hope there's good
news about it when the results come out in the first week of November," Ramesh said at a symposium on the "Future of Bengal
Tiger" here today.
However, he added, "I have no indication to say that there is an increase in tiger population as of yet."
According to latest census conducted by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), there are only 1,411 big cats left
in the 39 tiger reserves situated across the country.
In the last seven months this year, at least 20 tigers have died in and outside various reserves in the country
against 66 deaths reported last year, most of which were due to poaching.
Hoping the numbers to be on the higher side than the present one, Ramesh lauded the "right leadership and
structured administration" provided by the state governments.
The extensive exercise of tiger counting, which started last year, is based on scientific approach and is expected to
be more accurate.
"Almost 60 per cent of the wild tigers in the world are in India. And this has been possible because of sustained
efforts put under Project Tigers for conservation of the big cats," Ramesh said.
The minister said soon revenue generated from tourism would be used for development of tiger reserves so that local
communities can benefit.