The recent census of tigers by the Institute of Wild Life Conservation, Dehradun, which revealed the dwindling number of the animals in the country's forests has raised concern among environmentists in the state.
The environmental groups in the state have demanded the forest department to take a serious note of the findings and initiate effective corrective measures.
Shimoga wild life forest circle, which has a number of sanctuaries where tiger population exists, needs special care, they said. Western Ghat region covering major sanctuaries like Bhadra, Shettihalli, Someswara, Sharavathi, Mookambika, Dandeli and Anshi also have tiger population.
Talking to PTI, forest officials said Maland belt comprising of Shimoga, Chikamgalur and North Canara districts, which once had a large number of tiger population, are facing threat to their very existence.
Increased and unchecked biotic activity in reserve forest areas, poaching, smuggling and unabated destruction of fragile forest cover have all added to the miserable lives of these wild cats.
The dwindling forest cover is also a great threat.
Forest officials said that the findings of the census was not only a threat to tiger conservation programme adopted since 1972 through 'project tiger' but to the entire sustenance of the country's heritage of bio-diversity.
The census had concluded that the tiger population is on a decreasing trend despite implementation of 'project tiger'.
The institute conducted the census to count the tiger population by adopting a new international scientific method.
Previously, tiger populations in wild forests were counted through the "pug mark" counting method.