Tiger controversy

Published: Saturday 15 May 1999

tiger census conducted by the authorities in Madhya Pradesh has come in for a lot of criticism. The census report released in 1998 stated that the number of tigers in Madhya Pradesh had gone up to 927 in 1998 compared to 912 in 1993. But the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency ( eia ) has branded the census report as dubious. "Madhya Pradesh is a sad reflection of the crisis facing the tigers across the world," said Dave Currey, the author of the eia report. Co-author Debbie Banks has questioned the "authencity" of the 1997 census. India's tiger census in 1997 had become controversial as the non-governmental organisations raised questions about the authencity of the pug-mark method employed in the census.

The eia report observes, "Even before the field work had been completed (of the 1997 census), there were reports that orders had precolated down the ranks to ensure that over 1,000 tigers will be counted in Madhya Pradesh to show an increase from 1993 census figure."

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