‘Tiger numbers low due to decline in forest cover’
Anish Andheria, president of the Wildlife Conservation Trust, speaking at a Hindustan Times Environment Conclave session about finding balance between wildlife protection and development, said India still has habitat for tigers that goes beyond the areas supporting tigers today.
India has habitat to support about 10,000 tigers in the country, but tiger numbers are low due to the degradation of forests, and rapid and overlapping of development with tiger lands, wildlife experts said on Thursday at Hindustan Times Environment Conclave.
Anish Andheria, president of the Wildlife Conservation Trust, speaking at a session about finding balance between wildlife protection and development, said India still has habitat for tigers that goes beyond the areas supporting tigers today.
“India has done substantially well in the last All India Tiger Estimation but we have to see how every state performed. Only seven to eight states are responsible for the increase in the numbers, but most states have let down the tiger. This has happened largely because of habitat degradation, huge pressure of rapid development, and dependence of people on forests,” he said, adding that country has habitat to support about 10,000 tigers. He said the approximate figures from around 100 years ago show India had 40,000 tigers then, compared to which, the current numbers are very low.
Suggesting solutions to rising human-wildlife conflict, Kanchi Kohli, senior researcher with the Delhi-based the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) said that public participation while making policy decisions was crucial.
“...public interest in environmental policies has increased but along with that there have been aspects like shortening of time for public comments or not having enough public participation for projects near the border areas. But there is no shortcut to good decisions for the long term...,” said Kohli.