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Tiger numbers rise to 40 in Bhadra sanctuary

 

The Indian Express, New Delhi, 1st March, 2019

By B ThipperudrappaExpress News Service

 

CHIKKAMAGALURU: The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the major tiger reserves in the state, has recorded a healthy increase in its tiger population. As per the latest figures released by the forest department, there are as many as 40 tigers up from about 35 last year. Also, the elephant population has risen to 160.

 

Chief Conservator of Forests Vijay Mohanraj said the number of tigers and elephants has been recorded by the camera-trap method and there is a considerable increase in their numbers compared to last two decades.“The geographical area of the Chikkamagaluru circle is 5,586.13 sqkm of which the forest area is 2,544 sqkm. The evergreen forest area is 348.6 sqkm,” he said.

 

Wildlife activist G Veeresh said, “In 2000, there were only 5-6 tigers in Bhadra. About five years ago, the tiger population was 25 to 30 and now it is 40.” He attributed the rise to reduction in poaching and a consequent rise in the number of preys like sambar and deer, translocation of hamlets within Bhadra in 2000, and awareness among the villagers.

 

Till about five years ago, tiger census was conducted by private agencies led by conservationist Ullas Karanth and then taken over by the forest officials who conduct the study every year through camera-trap method, said wildlife activist G Veeresh.

 

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary Deputy Conservator of Forest O Dhananjaya Kumar pointed out that there have been no instances of forest fires in over a decade as all precautionary measures have been taken. “We have created awareness among the villagers on the periphery of the forest. We are also educating them about the dangers of destroying the forest by fire. Anti-poaching camps are always on alert and poaching has come down considerably.

 

All these factors have helped the Bhadra wildlife sanctuary witness a rise in animal population,” he said.