Hyderabad: According to the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the tiger population of AP and TS had increased by around 10 in 2014 when compared to 2013.
However, there were more tigers in the combined state in 2010. While the number of tigers in 2010 was 72 (with a range of 65 to 79) it has come down to 68 in 2014.
In the entire country, the tiger population in 2014 was recorded as 2,226 in the 18 tiger states including AP and TS. Synchronised all-India Tiger census is done every four years in the country though each reserve carries out its own census every year.
Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve field director Rahul Pandey said, “In 2013, they had given a figure ranging from 53 to 67 tigers with a mid point of 59. In 2014, they have given a figure of 68 (midpoint) that includes 65 tigers in undivided NSTR and three tigers in Kawal sanctuary of Adilabad. This shows that the tiger population has increased by almost 10,”
He added, “There’s no upper limit and lower limit range this time. We are expecting the detailed report by March.
The increase in tiger population is due to protection measures. I can’t say there is zero poaching, but it has been minimised. Currently, the tiger density is 1.9 tigers per 100 square kilometers of core area in NSTR.”
The report Status of Tigers India 2014 that was released by NTCA revealed that northern Andhra Pradesh, most parts of Odisha and Jharkhand have continued to lose tiger-occupied habitat and tiger abundance has declined.
The report said both NSTR in Andhra and Kawal in Telangana were areas where there was a potential for increasing tiger population.
Mr Pandey said, “Terrain of tiger reserves of other states is different from AP and TS. We have a vast area, but most of it is hilly terrain. So the carrying capacity is less and our tiger reserves (combined) can accommodate only 120 to 150 tigers,”
NSTR, which is the largest tiger reserve of India, is spread over an area of 3,727 sq. km. It consists of a core area of 2,444 sq. km and a buffer area of 1283 sq. km.