Visakhapatnam: Andhra Pradesh stood in 12th position having the highest number of tigers among the 21 Indian states, which together has a total of 2967 tigers. Madhya Pradesh has the country's highest number of 526 big cats.
Neighboring Odisha is at 15th position while Telangana in the 16th whereas Karnataka held the second position and Tamil Nadu the 5th position in tiger population.
"AP has 48 tigers, while Telangana has 26 tigers, Karnataka 524 and Tamil Nadu 264 tigers. India's tiger population is around 75 per cent of the global tiger population of 3,900.
The tiger population is on the rise for the first time in more than 100 years, state forest principal chief conservator Prateep Kumar told Deccan Chronicle.
States like Goa have only three tigers whereas the Jharkhand state has less than five tigers. The national tiger population rose to 2,967 in 2018 from 1411 in 2006.
Prateep Kumar said almost all the tigers of AP are enclosed in the Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve forest spreads over an area of 3727.82 square km in the Nallamalla forest area of the south eastern ghats.
The Nagarjunasagar attained tiger reserve status in 1983, covering Prakasam, Kurnool, and Guntur districts. Two wildlife sanctuaries namely Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and Gundla Brahmeswaram Wildlife Sanctuary constitute the tiger reserve area.
The state has 63 anti-poaching camps in the Nagarjunasagar reserve to prevent smuggling and poaching activity. Each camp has five protection watchers. Local tribals Chenchus assist the wildlife protection and monitoring efforts of officials.
"Wildlife lovers can come forward to donate money, articles, or vehicles. They can also adopt the Chenchu habitations and anti-poaching camps for the welfare of the local communities in the state," Prateek Kumar said.
Nallamala forests is most conducive to the tiger population
The Nallamala forests are the most peaceful area for tiger population to increase its progeny. This has around 60-70 tigers crisscrossing the tiger corridor, extending over Kurnool, Kadapa, and Chittoor districts.
“We can't provide an exact number but the fertility and growth of cubs have been encouraging,” said Nandyal DFO Vineetkumar. World Tiger Day was observed in the Nandyal range on Thursday.
He said the Nagarjuna Sagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR) under whose jurisdiction Atmakur and Nandyal in Kurnool district function has an encouraging growth rate for tiger population. Tiger population enumeration is done once in four years and the current year’s count is under way.
On the steady growth of the tiger population, he said that in 2016, the tiger population was 40, which went up to 46 in 2017. In 2018, it was speculated that the tiger population might have crossed 50. Now it is believed to have doubled.
World Tiger Day
World Tiger Day was observed on Thursday. Of the 13 partner countries formed to conserve the tiger population, India has impressive numbers -- between 2005 and 3200 tigers – who now make India their home.
The Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve is the largest tiger reserve in India. The reserve spreads over five districts –Kurnool, Prakasam, Guntur, Nalgonda and Mahabub Nagar. The total area of the tiger reserve is 3,728 sq-km. In Kollapur taluk of Nagarkurnool district, a procession was taken out, creating awareness to protect the tiger population in Nanllamala forest.