Orissa has over 100 tigers: wildlife official


Bhubaneswar : Orissa could have more than 100 tigers, and will conduct an independent survey to know the exact number, a senior wildlife official said Friday, questioning the 2010 national tiger census figure which put number of big cats in the state at only 32.

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“We disapprove the figure because the survey has not taken into consideration of at least five to six other tiger habitats like Sunabeda, Kuldiha, Kotgarh and Karlapat,” Chief Wildlife Warden P.N. Padhi told IANS.

“Similipal and Satkosia are home to 20 and six tigers respectively, if we go by their previous census. In the latest survey, they said the number has increased to 23 and 8 respectively in these two habitats, and if so, there must be an increase of population in other habitats also,” he said, adding that he believed there could be more than 100 tigers in the state.

The number of tigers counted on the basis of their pug marks was estimated at 160 to 190 for about 30 years till 2004, he said.

The national tiger census 2006, based on other methods, had found only 45 tigers in the state. Now, the latest census put it at only 32.

“We agree with the general habitat analysis that the population of the tigers in the state is stable. But I do not accept their total number for Orissa,” Padhi said.

He said they will develop an internal monitoring mechanism to know the exact figure.

“We will consult experts and soon conduct an independent survey using both the pugmark and camera method to know the exact status,” he said, adding that such an exercise may take some time.