Corbett tops in tiger count

Jim Corbett national park in Uttarakhand has the most number of tigers in the country, with 231 of the 2,967 big cats counted for the ‘Status of Tigers, Copredators & Prey in India’ report released by Union forest and environment minister Prakash Javadekar.

Corbett’s tiger count has been rising — from 137 in 2006 to 174 in 2010 and 215 in 2014. “We had expected the numbers to be over 250,” said director of the reserve, Rahul. It is followed by Nagarhole
(127) and Bandipur (126), both in Karnataka, Bandhavgarh in MP (MP) and Kaziranga in Assam (104 each). Among states, MP topped the tiger estimation, with 526 (it had 308 last time), going past Karnataka (524 this time, 406 earlier).

Uttarakhand remained on the third spot, with 442 tigers, up from 340 previously. The AITE is undertaken every four years, the latest in 2018. This time, Corbett is the only reserve with over 200 tigers and has the highest tiger density in the country, 14.

The count in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, which straddles the India-Nepal border, has also gone up. “It is a splendid increase, from 58 in the last estimation to 82 this time,” said Sanjay Kumar Pathak, field director of the reserve. Pilibhit reserve’s tiger population is also up by two to 57. And what used to be a non-tiger zone in Uttar Pradesh, Sohagi Barwa Wildlife Sanctuary in Maharajganj, now has one tiger. In fact, the Shivalik Hills and Gangetic Plains (Uttarakhand, UP and Bihar) witnessed a significant rise in tiger population, from 485 to 646, in keeping with national trend (which saw a 33% jump). The Central India & Eastern Ghats belt, which covers eight states, saw the biggest jump, 50%.

Four of country’s 50 reserves — Udnati Sitanadi in Chhattisgarh, Satkosia in Odisha, Mukundra in Rajasthan and Kawal in Telangana — have just one tiger.

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