Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Release of latest tiger census data along with a commemorative coin at a three-day event starting April 9 in Karnataka's Mysore will mark the successful completion of 50 years of 'Project Tiger' -- a conservation programme launched in 1973 to ensure a viable population of the big cat in its natural habitat.
To showcase India's tiger conservation success globally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and chief forest officials of the states, will release the latest tiger census data, besides setting a new vision for tiger conservation during 'Amrit Kaal' and a commemorative coin during the event.
Bearing the tag of 'tiger state' since 2018, Madhya Pradesh, which has the highest population of tigers (estimated up 700) as well as the highest forest covered landscape, has a crucial role like it played in the past in conservation of tigers and all other wild-animals.
Implementation of technology has made tiger lives easier
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests of Madhya Pradesh, J.S. Chouhan claimed in the past 10-15 years, the state has witnessed tremendous increase in protected areas for wild animals.
"Growth of tigers in Madhya Pradesh has been remarkable in the past few years and it could happen because of the efforts of all stakeholders, especially from the administrative part. At least 7,000 hectares of land of the state forest was recovered. In other words, around 200 villages falling under dense forest zones were encroached free. It helped us to increase the protection area, prey base and core areas for wild animals at all tiger reserves and the national parks in Madhya Pradesh," he told IANS.
He claimed that the implementation of new technology and fragmentation of forest areas have made the tigers' lives easier in comparison to previous eras. Roads and canals are being developed and some other steps are being taken to ensure the peaceful scenario for tigers and all other wild animals.
"Various steps have been taken to maintain peace in the forest zones, for instance, a sound proof system has been implemented on Seoni-Nagpur highway. The implementation of the radio collar system has increased the monitoring level of tigers. Madhya Pradesh has established one of the biggest forces to protest wild animals, which is called State Tiger Strike Force," he added.
MP likely to remain 'tiger state' for years to come
The state has been witnessing the highest mortality rate of tigers since the last few years and most of the tigers were reported to have died unnaturally. However, the officials ruled out the possibility of any organised nexus of animal poachers in the state.
"See, we have to understand that around 40-45 per cent tigers ferry outside the protected areas, due to which human-wildlife conflicts have also increased. On an average 35-40 tigers are dying every year in Madhya Pradesh, while the birth rate has increased up to 100 per cent. It means the protection system has increased," Chouhan said.
As per the official claim, at present, Madhya Pradesh has around 700 tigers, highest in the country and the officials are of the view that the state will retain its - 'tiger state' tag for years to come.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)