'Last' census begins

Tuesday 15 June 1999

the century's last census of the Indian tiger has begun, beginning with the Corbett Tiger Reserve. Armed with Rs one crore allotted in the Ninth Plan, Project Tiger has asked tiger states to take the count beyond the national parks.

According to the Project Tiger director, A K Sen, about 30 per cent of the tigers are found outside the reserves and require more protection.

To ensure the counting is more accurate, Project Tiger has decided to opt for different parameters. It has asked the authorities of the 25 tiger reserves to stop relying too much on the age-old technique of counting pug marks and instead use variables like sightings, fresh killings and scratch marks on tree trunks to determine the territory of individual tigers. Sen admitted that the census would face problems in several states for different reasons.

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