Sariska tigers unseen, not gone, says minister

Published on Mar 14, 2005 07:57 PM IST

Tiger sightings may have gone down in the Sariska tiger reserve of Rajasthan but that does not necessarily mean their population has declined, Environment and Forests Minister A. Raja said

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PTI | ByIndo-Asian News Service, New Delhi

Tiger sightings may have gone down in the Sariska tiger reserve of Rajasthan but that does not necessarily mean their population has declined, Environment and Forests Minister A Raja told parliament on  Monday.

"There is a decline in direct sighting of tigers in Sariska. However, no reports of the collapse of administrative set up of national parks and decrease in tiger numbers have come to light," Raja said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

The minister said the Rajasthan authorities had collected indirect evidence of the presence of tigers during their intensive search in Sariska.

The Wildlife Institute of India has been directed to undertake a detailed ecological study in Sariska to ascertain the status of wild animals and other related factors, he added.

Alarmed by the reports of depleting tiger population due to poaching, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had called for immediate action to save the endangered animals.

The Sariska Wildlife Reserve reportedly hasn't spotted a single tiger for over eight months.

"Since the launching of Project Tiger, the current situation presents the biggest crisis in the management of our wildlife," the prime minister said in a statement.

The ministry of environment and forests Jan 31 issued a notice, directing the wildlife chief of Rajasthan to start 'ground-truthing' the reserve for snares, traps and other hunter objects.

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