Kaziranga brought fresh hopes on tiger conservation: Ramesh
Kaziranga, April 6, 2010
Union Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh on Monday said Kaziranga has brought fresh hopes on tiger conservation in the country with the National Park registering a density of about 30 tigers over 100 square kilometres of the park, which he described to be the highest in the country.
After a field visit the Minister told journalists inside the world heritage site, that such a high density indicate that Kaziranga with a total area of more than 1000 square km area should have more than 100 tigers. Mr. Ramesh said that figures of tiger census would be out in November. Assam Forest and Environment Minister Rockybul Hussain accompanied Mr. Ramesh in field visit.
The Union Minister announced that four regional offices of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) would be opened in Bangalore, Nagpur, Kolkata and Guwahati to spread out activities of NTCA to field areas and to ensure that it did not remain Delhi-centric. The NTCA headquarters in Delhi would also look after northern India.
Of the 39 project tiger areas in the country situation in nine are good, 12 are satisfactory while the scenario in 18 project tiger areas is precarious, he said. Mr. Ramesh said tigers have become endangered but not extinct in India. He said about 50 to 60 per cent of wild tiger population of the world is found in India and this has been possible because of huge and sustained efforts put under Project Tigers for conservation of the big cats.
Mr. Ramesh and Mr. Hussain were given a demonstration on how camera-trapping method is used for tiger census by wildlife biologist Firoz Ahmed of Aranyak, a society for biodiversity conservation, engaged in tiger census operation. The Ministers and top forest officials witnessed fresh pug marks of tigers inside the national park.
He said that if the State government wanted financial assistance to Kaziranga to double, the Central government would meet the demand as the barrier of treating Kaziranga as non-project tiger area broken.
Mr. Ramesh said that the Centre has offered Assam that whatever is required for helping filed staff of Kaziranga like night vision devices and for assistance for their mobility for instance, would be provided.