Karnataka forest department expects significant rise in tiger population in 2022 census

In Tiger Census 2018, Madhya Pradesh led the overall chart in India with 526 tigers, followed by Karnataka with 524 and Uttrakhand with 442.

The Karnataka Forest Department (KFD) is geared up for Tiger Census 2022, expecting a considerable improvement in the state’s tiger population. In Tiger Census 2018, Madhya Pradesh led the overall chart in India with 526 tigers, followed by Karnataka with 524 and Uttarakhand with 442.

Sharing his thoughts with the Indian Express, Vijaykumar Gogi, principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife) and chief wildlife warden, said conservation initiatives like least human intervention in their prey and breeding areas could culminate into something good. He said it would not be prudent to do guesswork and give out the figures now.

“One of the major things we have done in the past few years is to have reduced anthropogenic (originating in human activity) pressures so that tigers can breed. However, birth rate is not the only way to determine the number of tigers. We have set up camera traps, and the forest guard members also track the movement of tigers by their scat (animal droppings). Every animal has its own scat pattern. The guidelines of carrying out the census are laid down by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA),” Gogi said.

The chief wildlife warden also informed that due to Covid-19, volunteers would not be involved in carrying out the census. “We do not want to hush up things. However, the local field officers of the national parks can take a call whether volunteers should be involved. We have completed training of trainers and sent them to circles,” Gogi said.

In the 2018 tiger census, Nagarhole and Bandipur tiger reserves in Karnataka had 253 tigers. Forest officials are expecting a significant rise in the number of tigers in these two reserves.

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