Monday, February 13, 2012

India’s tigers are making a comeback

Breeding success across many reserves
February 2012: India is home to the world's largest population of wild tigers - and more positive news is emerging from the country, with the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) pointing to the number of new cubs as a good measure of success.
'Where they are being well protected, where there is a good relationship between forest officials, scientists and NGOs, tigers are breeding and returning to the forests from which they once vanished and taking up residence rather than just being transient,' said EIA campaign leader Debbie Banks.
News of cubs in Kudremukh National Park, in Karnataka, which has historically been ravaged by iron ore mining, and of 25 tigers residing in the Sathyamangalam forests of Tamil Nadu is further testimony to the emergence of the southern states as tiger conservation champions.
Assam now home to more than 140 tigersKanha Tiger Reserve has 21 to 23 cubs; Pench Tiger Reserve has 21 cubs, while in Panna Tiger Reserve translocated tigers have given birth to seven cubs.
Further north, tigers have returned to the Nandhor Valley of Uttarakhand, while Assam is home to 143 tigers, 118 in Kaziranga National Park alone - the highest tiger population density in the country.
While the EIA admit things are still far from perfect - poaching, habitat loss and human/tiger conflict continue to put pressure on the country's tiger population- they are delighted with the progress being made.
Debbie added: ‘None of us can take our foot off the gas when it comes to saving tigers. But what the good news from India tells us is that the tiger's decline is not an irreversible situation; that with the right set of circumstances, tiger populations can recover, and with them the watershed forests that all our futures depend on. 
‘We must take heart that we are on the right path.' 

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