Sunday, August 05, 2007

Indian gov't confirms tiger population decline

Jay Mazoomdaar
Friday, August 3, 2007 (New Delhi)

A few days after NDTV reported a loss of 60 per cent of India's tiger population, the ministry has confirmed the figure in the agenda note for the next National Board for Wildlife meeting to be chaired by the Prime Minister.

The National Board for Wildlife is expected to confirm our worst fears. India has only about 1,300 to 1,500 tigers left.

Last week, Rajesh Gopal of the National Tiger Conservation Authority had told NDTV that the 60 per cent loss of tiger population reported by four states seemed like a sign of things to come in the national census.

"Situation is not good due to bad land use, the trend may get repeated," said Rajesh Gopal.

The figures will be announced only at the end of the year but NDTV has access to them now, prepared by the office of the Director General (wildlife) in the ministry of environment and forest.

So, it's official. India has indeed lost 60 per cent of its tigers. With the PM already issuing directives to the states, all eyes will now be on the National Wildlife Board meeting.

http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/ story.aspx?id=NEWEN20070021385

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