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Uttarakhand Registers Excellent Tiger Population Growth in Past 13 Years

Madhya Pradesh led the table with 526 tigers and Karnataka followed with 524

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In the latest census, released on Monday in New Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttarakhand stood third with 442 tigers. Pixabay

Uttarakhand may have come third in terms of tiger population in the latest census, but the state has registered an excellent tiger population growth in the past 13 years.

In the latest census, released on Monday in New Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttarakhand stood third with 442 tigers. Madhya Pradesh led the table with 526 tigers and Karnataka followed with 524.

Wildlife experts claimed the population growth in Uttarakhand was much healthier as its area was small compared with Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.

“We are certainly the number one state in terms of the tiger conservation programme,” Uttarakhand Forest Minister Harak Singh Rawat said.

Uttarakhand, Tiger, Population
Uttarakhand may have come third in terms of tiger population in the latest census, but the state has registered an excellent tiger population growth in the past 13 years. Pixabay

Stating that Uttarakhand is number one in terms of tiger food chain, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said, “The wildlife conservation is in the culture of state.”

According to 2006 census report, there were only 164 tigers in the state. But due to conservation efforts, its population showed remarkable improvement. In 2010 census, the tiger population rose to 227. Within four years in 2014, it jumped to 340.

Even in non-tiger conservation areas, the big cat’s number was on the rise, the Forest Minister said. Tigers were now present in all 13 districts of the state, he added.

Significantly, a tiger was sighted in the Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary at the height of 3,400 meters. A picture of tiger was captured recently by a camera trap at the sanctuary, home to leopards and snow leopards, Kedarnath Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Amit Kanwar said.

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In 2016 also, a tiger was sighted in the area but the camera trap picture’s quality was not good. “This time the picture quality is very good,” said Kanwar.

The Forest Department would consult experts at the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to understand the significance of tiger at such a height.

“We are not clear whether it is a male or a female tiger. Second, it’s also not clear whether the tiger is local or has migrated to the sanctuary from the plains,” he said. (IANS)

Next Story

Population Threatened by Climate Change-Triggered Flooding about Three Times Higher than Previously Thought

And if emissions of heat-trapping gases continue unabated and Antarctic ice melts more in a worst-case scenario, around 500 million people could be

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Population, Climate, Flooding
Cars drive through a flooded road at the entrance to Long Beach Island in Ship Bottom, N.J. on Oct. 11, 2019. VOA

The number of people threatened by climate change-triggered flooding is about three times higher than previously thought, a new study says. But it’s not because of more water. Population.

It’s because the land, especially in Asia and the developing world, is several feet lower than what space-based radar has calculated, according to a study in the journal Nature Communications Tuesday.

So instead of 80 million people living in low-lying areas that would flood annually by 2050 as the world warms, this new study finds the population at risk is closer to 300 million people.

And if emissions of heat-trapping gases continue unabated and Antarctic ice melts more in a worst-case scenario, around 500 million people could be at risk by the end of the century, according to the study by Climate Central , a New Jersey based non-profit of scientists and journalists.

Population, Climate, Flooding
It’s because the land, especially in Asia and the developing world, is several feet lower than what space-based radar has calculated, according to a study. Pixabay

Space-based radar says 170 million are at risk in that scenario.

For big picture global mapping of flooding threats, the go-to technology for elevation is NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission . But that doesn’t accurately show ground, instead mistaking rooftops and tree canopies for ground with an average error of 6.5 feet (2 meters), said Climate Central chief executive officer Ben Strauss, a scientist who studies sea level rise.

For the United States, much of Europe and Australia, this is not a problem because those areas use airborne lidar radar, which is more accurate about true elevation. But in flood prone Asia and other places that’s not an option, Strauss said.

So Climate Central used the shuttle radar, artificial intelligence and 23 different variables to create a computer model that is more accurate in globally mapping elevation, Strauss said. They then tested it against the airplane-generated data in the United States and Australia and found this computer model was accurate, he said.

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“This is a far greater problem than we understood,” Strauss said. “Far more people live in risky places today than we thought and the problem only multiplies in the future.”

He said the new model found “a huge difference” in elevation in places such as Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, Jakarta and Mumbai.

Five outside sea level rise experts said the study highlighted a problem with current data, especially in Asia.

“This study represents very significant progress in the understanding of the risk which climate change-related sea level will cause for hundreds of million of people before the end of this century,” said Jean-Pascal van Ypersele of the Universite catholique de Louvain in Belgium.  “If hundreds or even tens of millions of people are flooded in Asia or Africa, it will create social and economic disruptions on a huge scale.”

Population, Climate, Flooding

So instead of 80 million people living in low-lying areas that would flood annually by 2050 as the world warms, this new study finds the population at risk is closer to 300 million people. Pixabay

University of Colorado’s Steve Nerem said the problem is real, but he isn’t sold on the new model yet, partly because it is based on the shuttle radar to begin with.

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It does highlight an issue that needs to be fixed, said Katy Serafin at the University of Florida. “The longer we wait to address this, the less time we will have to develop adaptive and sustainable solutions to coastal flooding.” (VOA)