Tiger population in NE going down

NEW DELHI, Feb 20 – The population of tigers in North-East has come down to 84, while in Assam it dangling between 60-80 number, according to the latest refined all India tiger estimation carried out by National Tiger Conservation Authority. The disclosure by Minister of State for Environment and Forest, S Reghupathy in a Rajya Sabha reply to a question by Biren Baishya painted a grim picture, as far as tiger conservation measures in Assam is concerned. The country-level population of tiger is 1411, while the lower and upper limits was 1165 and 1657, respectively.

The latest assessment of tiger population is based on determining spatial occupancy of tigers throughout potential tiger forests using camera traps in a statistical framework. The assessment is not comparable to the earlier total count using pugmarks owing to several shortcomings.

Reghupathy admitted that the new findings indicated a poor status of tiger population in areas outside tiger reserves and protected areas.

In an area of 1164 Km in Assam the average tiger population is determined to be 70,with the upper limit being 80 and lower 60. The population of tiger in Assam is highest in the North-East, with the number of big cat dwindling in Arunachal Pradesh to 14 and Mizoram six.

Recently the National Tiger Conservation Authority had sounded country-wide alarm in 17 States including Assam following reports that organised gangs of poachers have fanned out across the country to kill tigers.