Three-phase tiger census begins in MP




The forest department of Madhya Pradesh has begun a three-phase estimation exercise of tigers, which will continue till December 21.

In the first phase, wildlife experts (employees) will conduct field exercise to collect evidence of the presence of tigers using different sets of parameters in each forest reserves of the state.

The second phase will involve the use of the Geographic Information System (GIS), and the third phase is to be conducted in the laboratory.

"There are basically four phases of exercise of tigers census, of which, two phases are held in field and the third one is conducted at laboratory, which is based on evidence collected through the field exercise and the last one will be final submission to the Centre," said Rajnish Singh, a senior wildlife official in Bhopal division.

Singh told IANS that generally people call this process 'census' or 'counting of tigers', but technically, it is an 'estimation exercise' which is conducted after every four years across the country.

The first phase of the exercise is to be conducted between November 17 to November 25, the second - from December 1 to December 13 the third phase - from December 14 to December 21. The final reports of estimation exercise to be submitted to the Centre.

Singh further said that the estimation exercise is conducted on the basis of over 50 sets of parameters, including human interference, geographical condition, number of footfalls, water resources and many more.

Replying to the questions about the accuracy of the exercise, which suggests the number of tigers at a particular tiger reserve, Singh said, "It does not go 100 per cent, but it remains between 90-95 per cent."

Madhya Pradesh, which is known as the hub of tigers, has lost 36 tigers in 2021, more than twice against Karnataka, which lost 15 tigers.

The increasing number of the tiger deaths in almost all the tiger reserves is not only putting a question mark on the MP status of a 'tiger state', which it won against Karnataka in 2018, but has also raised an alarm to take more protective measures.

Madhya Pradesh had won the 'tiger state' status in the All India Tiger Estimated Report 2018 by a difference of just two tigers -- 526 to Karnataka's 524.

MP has lost over 200 tigers between 2012 and 2019 (36 till November 13, 2021), followed by 141 in Maharashtra and 123 in Karnataka during the same period. -IANS

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