The tiger census – From despair to hope
It is celebration time for tiger enthusiasts in Kerala as the successful tiger conservation efforts have made Kerala one of the three states that has the greatest tiger density in the world. According to the latest tiger census India’s wild tiger population has grown by 12 per cent in the last four years, which put the number of big cats in the country at approximately 1,706.
The densely forested Western Ghats region that spreads along the three South Indian States of Tamilnadu, Kerala and Karnataka is home to over 533 tigers and continues to be the home of the maximum number of tigers. The Periyar tiger sanctuary and Parambikulam, also has recorded an addition of over 25 tigers, which is something we can be proud of. The reclusive animals of tigers are hard to spot and to ensure a precise head count of this elegant national animal of India, latest techniques like DNA mapping, camera traps and satellite images were employed.
As we pen this edition of tiger tales from the Karma Kerala desk, the mood is surely that of hope unlike the pall of gloom and despair that loomed over when we posted our first blog in the tiger series a year ago when the number of Indian tigers hit an all time low of just 1411. The social media like Face book and twitter have played an important role in giving resonance to the concern and anguish of wild life enthusiasts all over India.
Tiger occupancy areas shrunk from 9 million hectares to less than 7.5 million hectares over the last four years and to ensure a comeback of tigers, it is very essential to increase the forest cover and enhance the vigil against poachers. Mining is said to be the single largest threat to the tiger population as it destroys the habitat and the natural food supply of these predators. Around Thirty per cent of the tiger population lives in areas outside the government’s reserves, which makes conservation efforts complex and challenging.
The largest number of tigers lives in the entire Western Ghats area, which in itself is a testimony of the successful conservation efforts bearing fruits. Kerala can indeed feel proud of its successful tiger conservation efforts that has left its name in the hall of fame of wild life protection. The latest inputs from the tiger conservation front are indeed portraying a hopeful picture 🙂 and the encouraging snippets compiled by the news desks all over India speak of a ray of hope at the end of the dark tunnel. The anxious moments are not yet fully blown over, and only concocted efforts will bring in permanent results that we all would like to see. So, let us all join our hands to make sure that the tigers continue to thrive in the forests of India to be our national pride and identity.