Friday, May 16, 2008

Tiger population on the rise in Tamil Nadu

Chennai (PTI): As the decline in tiger population in the country continues to be a case of concern, a 25 per cent increase in the number of big cats in Tamil Nadu's wildlife sanctuaries has brought smiles on the faces of conservationists in the state.

"The number of tigers have gone up from 62 to 76, thus registering a 25 percent increase," Tamil Nadu Environment and Forests Minister N Selvaraj said. "The tiger population in India has come down from 3,642 in 2001 to 1,411 in 2008," he said, quoting a report by the Wildlife Institute of India while speaking on the grants for his ministry in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Tuesday.

Selvaraj said the declaration of the Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary and Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary as new Project Tiger areas in 2007 helped the population of big cats to pick up. "It proved that the state was a frontrunner in tiger conservation and the priority placed for this cause by the state," he said.

The Centre provided 100 per cent assistance in the areas of tiger habitat conservation, ecological development and protection, forest fire control measures and human-wild conflict resolution in Project Tiger areas. The state would also spend Rs crores on tiger conservation activities in the Kalakkad-Mundathurai, Anamalai and Mudumalai sanctuaries, Selvaraj said.


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