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1636 Wild Tiger Estimation of Tiger Census-2010
March 28, 2011

1636 Wild Tiger Estimation of Tiger Census-2010


28 March 2011

The latest Tiger Census in India puts estimated tiger population in the country at 1636. Announcing this here today, Shri Jairam Ramesh said that close to 30% of the estimated tiger population, it is outside the 39 Tiger Reserves. We do not have complete strategies to deal with this.” There is a considerable rise in southern states where Karnataka shows highest figures of 320 estimated tiger. The details of states is given in the table below at Annexure.

As per the release of India Tiger Estimate 2010, the population estimate of tiger in 2010 show the total range on lower limit as 1571 and the upper limit at 1875. The population estimate 1706 is a reliable statistical estimate of the tiger population number. The estimate of 2006 shows lower limit at 1165 and upper limit at 1675. The population estimate for Tiger Census 2006 was total 1411.

Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission said that the developmental activities are not always against conservation of wildlife. He said, “It is very important to conserve tigers. It is not just matter of money, it is matter of keeping human intervention sufficiently at bay. The unit data release will be very useful.”

Shri Salman Khurshid, Minister of Water Resources and Minority Affairs said, “There is modern, innovative as well as technological methodology available to make ecology of environment preserve .We came late on industrial revolution of our country unlike western parts. We have many challenges to ensure that balance is maintained between development and environmental ecology. Tiger has become a national symbol, so we need to save tiger. Development and environment has to go together.”

Giving details of the census process, Dr Y. V. Jhala from Wildlife Institution of India said, “The All India Tiger Estimation exercise is one of the most crucial components of our national tiger conservation efforts. Since 2006, this monitoring exercise is being undertaken every four years. This report presents the results of the 2010 National Tiger Assessment, undertaken through a best-in-class scientific process. This presents an estimate of India’s current tiger population and a broader assessment of our tiger landscapes. This monitoring exercise was carried out between December 2009 and December 2010. The three phases of the tiger estimation procedure included   field data collected at the beat-level (i.e. the primary patrolling unit) by trained personnel using a standardised protocol in the first phase.  The second phase was analysis of habitat status of tiger forests using satellite data and the third phase dealt with camera trapping. It was the primary method used, where individual tigers were identified from photographs based on their unique stripe patterns. This information was analysed using a well established scientific framework. Camera trapping was carried out by teams of wildlife biologists and local forest personnel.”

Based on the tiger numbers recorded in sampled sites, an estimate for other contiguous tiger-occupied landscapes was made. For this, additional information such as tiger signs, prey availability, habitat conditions and human disturbance was used. Thus, the final estimates provide a comprehensive and statistically robust result for the whole country.

Dr. Jhala added, “ More than 4,76,000 forest personnel were involved in data collection. In the first phase about 30,000 forest beats sampled were collected. They walked total distance of 6,25,000 km during Phase I. More than 27,300 man-days of researchers took part in this process. Total camera traps were 800 in area of 10,500 sq. km. During this census, 550 individual tigers were trapped in camera. Total cost of this census was Rs. 9.1 crore.

The same scientifically robust methods were consistently used in 2006 and 2010. This enabled comparison of results from both estimation exercises and in understanding the trend in tiger numbers. The results were collated for the larger landscapes within which individual tiger reserves fall. The Tables below provide detailed information of these landscape complexes.

The 2010 National Tiger Assessment has several innovations over previous assessments. These include partnerships with civil society organizations such as Wildlife Trust of India, Aaranyak, and World Wildlife Fund for Nature-India. Additional technical expertise from Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), local communities involved in data collection and analysis, genetic analysis to estimate tiger populations from faecal samples, assessment of co-predators, prey, and habitat quality with tigers, pioneering attempt to estimate tiger populations in Sunderbans Tiger Reserve (West Bengal) using satellite telemetry and sign surveys and first estimation of tiger population in Sahyadri Tiger Reserve (Maharashtra).

New findings of 2010 national tiger assessment suggest that most tiger source sites continue to maintain viable tiger populations. Evidence of new areas populated by tigers, e.g. Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary and Shivpuri National Park in Madhya Pradesh. New methodology for estimating population in Sunderbans was in place.

Click here to view the Annexure-http://pib.nic.in/archieve/others/2011/mar/d2011032801.pdf