Tiger count report likely in May
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has said its nationwide survey of tiger count is nearly 80% complete and the report, All India Tiger Estimation 2018-19, will likely be out in May.
The previous census, conducted in 2014, had reported 2,226 tigers in the country, up from 1,706 in 2010.
“The report (which would be the fourth overall) is expected to come out in May,” VB Mathur, director, WII confirmed.
National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and WII in February last year said that the estimation project cost Rs 10 crore.
According to wildlife experts, it is still early to say whether the tiger count has gone up since the survey was last conducted.
“We are working on the estimation. It’s too early to predict the numbers, but considering the efforts of the ministry of environment, forest and climate (MoEFCC), the NTCA and the states that have put efforts towards saving tigers, we are hopeful of healthy figures,” Qamar Qureshi, senior scientist working on the estimation, said.
He said nearly 80% of the work is complete. “Field data has started coming in and it’s time when we start analysing the data,” he said.
The exercise began in January 2018. As per the initial plan, various phases under the project were to be completed last year. But challenges on the ground shifted the deadline, officials said.