Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister, Prakash Javadekar, on Wednesday stated that the country’s tiger population rose by 30 per cent in three years. The minister said this while replying to a question by BJP MP Prathap Simha, from Mysuru.
In 2008, India had 1,411 tigers. The number rose to 1706 in the year 2011, and 2014’s latest tiger census revealed the number to be 2,226, which amounts to 70% of the world’s total tiger population.
According to Javedkar the 30 per cent rise in numbers is a reflection of the governmental efforts behind tiger preservation programs, along with the work put in by wildlife authorities and even local people.
“While the tiger population is falling in the world, it is rising in India. It is a great news”, said Javadekar.
“Never before such an exercise has been taken in that massive scale where we have unique photographs of 80% of the India’s tiger,” he proclaimed.
At 408, Karnataka boasts the highest tiger population aged 1.5 years or more, according to the 2014 tiger census. Uttarakhand follows closely with 340 tigers, while Madhya Pradesh has 308.
In Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, there are 229 and 190 tigers respectively. In Assam, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh, the numbers stand at 167, 136 and 117.
Liwonde National Park in southern Malawi has just welcomed some new inhabitants – four cheetahs
Liwonde National Park has a population of 12,000 large mammals including bush buck, water buffalo, and antelope
Park officials say they also plan to reintroduce leopards and lions to restore the park’s lost glory
LIWONDE NATIONAL PARK, MALAWI, June 10, 2017: Poaching and wildlife trafficking have endangered some of Africa’s most iconic species and the loss of the animals has cost African countries critical tourism revenue.
But at least one national park is getting a second chance. Liwonde National Park in southern Malawi has just welcomed some new inhabitants – four cheetahs relocated there from South Africa courtesy of the nonprofit African Parks group.
Park rangers lured the first cheetah out into its new home with a fresh carcass. It’s the first cheetah Malawi has had in the wild in two decades.
The cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world, but even that couldn’t protect the species in Malawi. Poachers killed off the cheetahs’ prey and ultimately the cheetahs themselves.
“They were last seen in Malawi about 20 years ago,” said Craig Reid of the Liwonde National Park. “Specifically in Liwonde area, they have been absent for over a 100 years. So, as part of the rehabilitation of the park, we feel it is very important to bring back the cheetah to Malawi and Liwonde specifically.”
A total of four cheetahs – two males and two females – were airlifted to Liwonde from South Africa in May.
Before being released into the park, the cheetahs spent their first three weeks in an enclosure to allow them to become acclimated to their new surroundings.
Liwonde National Park has a population of 12,000 large mammals. These include bush buck, water buffalo and antelope.
The cheetah is the first large predator to be reintroduced to the park.
“We have a very healthy animal base and now that the protection measures are in place as we have got a very good law enforcement in the park,” Reid said. “The numbers of animals are increasing very rapidly and, as a result to that, there are more than enough animals to provide for some carnivorous animals such as the cheetah”.
Officials are holding meetings with communities surrounding the park.
“Those people are likely to face danger,” said David Nongoma of African Parks. “And our message to the community is to say that…they refrain from entering the park and stop doing what they used to be doing because these animals are definitely very dangerous. They can kill a human being.”
Park officials say they also plan to reintroduce leopards and lions to restore the park’s lost glory. (VOA)