Friday, July 13, 2007

Complete tiger census by end of year, says PM

Amitabh Sinha
Posted online: Thursday, July 12, 2007


Nearly two months after a study indicated that India has far fewer tigers than what was earlier believed, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said all the recommendations of the Tiger Task Force should be implemented at the earliest.

“He also stressed that the tiger census that is being carried out be completed by the end of the year,” Baru said, referring to a study being conducted by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), which was expected to reveal the correct number of tigers in the country.

WII had come out with its provisional findings in May based on the estimated tiger population in six states, which indicated that the number of tigers in India was not likely to be more than 2,000-2,200. The last tiger census had put the number at more than 3,500.

The final findings of the WII study were expected in December. But, the Ministry of Environment and Forests on Wednesday said it would ask the WII to try and finish the study before December.

“Everyone felt that we need to get it out (census figures) as soon as possible. There has to be a clear assessment of the numbers,” said Sunita Narain, head of the Tiger Task Force.

“Besides the numbers, we also need to know exactly the areas where the tigers are and where they aren’t. Both will be important lessons for conservation efforts,” she said.

The Prime Minister also noted with concern the large number of vacancies in frontline forest staff and a ban on recruitment by some state Governments. Some proposals to provide Central assistance to states to meet their financial crunch were also discussed.

Singh was informed about the efforts being made to reinforce protection measures inside the tiger reserves and the kind of support that could be offered to the state Governments in this regard.

The relocation of families living inside the tiger reserves also came up for discussion. The Prime Minister was told that a better relocation scheme was being worked out for the people staying in nearly 275 villages inside the reserves.



RR said...

jay gurudev
good job


RR said...