The presence of tigers in these reserves was scarce in 2014 too; nation-wide population up 30 per cent
The year-long tiger estimation process carried out in 2018-19 and compiled by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) did not register any presence of the striped big cat in Buxa Tiger Reserve (TR) in West Bengal, Palamu TR in Jharkhand and Dampa TR in Mizoram.
For the 2018 estimation process, an area of 3,81,400 square kilometres (sq km) of forest was surveyed. In 2014, the estimation process involved surveying an area of 3,78,118 sq km of forests.
The report, Status of Tigers Co-predators & Prey in India, 2018, released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 29, shows that the number of tigers in the country have increased to 2,967 (range: 2,603-3,346) in 2018 from 2,226 (range: 1,945-2,491) in 2014.
Tigers colonised 25,709 sq km new areas; thier presence could not be ascertained in some areas, the report noted. Overall, areas occupied by tigers shrunk by 17,881 sq km (2014-18).
"Reduction in occupied areas was due to a) not finding evidence of tiger presence in sampled forests (20 per cent actual loss), and b) not sampling forests that had tiger presence in 2014 (eight per cent)," the report added.
The decline was spread over three out of India's five tiger landscapes: The Shivalik, Western Ghats and the North East reported a loss of 469 sq km, 527 sq km and 6,589 sq km respectively; Central India and the Sundarbans landscapes registered an increase of 7,532 sq km and 479 sq km respectively.
In the Status report of 2014, the tiger population of Buxa, Palamu and Dampa stood at 2 (Bauxa TR), 3 (Dampa TR) and 3 (Palamu TR).
The overall tiger occupancy of 88,985 sq km was almost the same as the 88,558 sq km in 2014.
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