Sniffer dog for tigers

Original source, credits text and photograph

India – The Shillong Times

Aaranyak Provides Sniffer Dog, 2 Motorcycles To Boost Security In Orang Park.

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Biodiversity conservation and research Organisation, Aaranyak provided a unit of its K9 squad of sniffer dog to Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park; and gifted two motorcycles to Darrang district police.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Secretary General of Aaranyak, Dr Bibhab Talukdar who handed over the items to respective police and forest authorities, informed that it was part of Aaranyak’s sustained efforts to boost the continuous endeavours of Assam Police and Assam Forest Department to prevent/check wildlife crimes in the area so as to protect the wildlife species including the one-horned rhino and the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger (RBT) in Orang National Park that spread over about 80 square kilometer areas in Darrang-Sonitpur districts of North Assam (Darrang-Sonitpur district).

The motorcycles have been gifted to Darrang district police at the request of the Superintendent of Police, Amrit Bhuyan for the purpose of augmenting patrolling by police personnel engaged in checking and prevention of wildlife crimes including hunting of animals in the National Park.“The two-wheelers would be handy for strengthening the networking with the Village Defence Parties which have been instrumental in checking wildlife crimes,” the SP said.

 

 

Commentary

NGOs Aaranyak and David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation provide motorbikes and a Sniffer Dog to Indian wildlife reserve Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park.

Raising the question: why is this necessary if the Indian government is earning so much money on tiger conservation?

Bangla tiger

Original source, credits text and photograph

India – India Blooms

Low Male Tiger Population In Bangladesh, Worrisome: Official.

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A lower-than-expected population of male Royal Bengal tigers in the world’s largest mangrove forest has sparked fears about the long-term viability of the endangered species in Bangladesh, officials said here.

A poaching crackdown by authorities in the Bangladeshi part of Sundarbans mangroves saw an increase in the big cat population from 106 to 114 four years ago, according to a census published in May.

However, closer analysis of the data found that the number of male tigers was lower than the typical ratio of one male for every three tigresses, with the figure now at one male for every five females, officials said here on Wednesday.

Commentary

The male-female ratio of tigers in the Sundarbans in Bangladesh is getting to a critical point – with even a 10 percent count in the Sharonkhola range (2 out of 19).

The future of the tiger population in the Sundarbans could be at stake, if the forest continues to lose male tigers.

Human tiger

Original source, credits text and photograph

India – First Post

How Does India’s Tiger Conservation Policy Impact The Local People And The Forest?

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Once every four years, the Indian government releases an estimate of the total number of tigers in India. The estimate for 2018 was announced on 29 July 2019, which is the World Tiger Day. While announcing with sufficient fanfare the estimate of 2967 tigers (up from 2226 in 2014), the Prime Minister of India said that the target of doubling tiger numbers in India was achieved four years earlier than promised. He went on to add that India’s tiger conservation model could now be replicated in other tiger range countries.

What have been the social and ecological costs of achieving this goal of doubling tiger numbers? In a recent paper, my colleagues and I analysed the case of Biligiri Rangasamy Temple (BRT) Tiger Reserve where an Adivasi (tribal) community has been dispossessed of their means of livelihood by a ‘successful’ tiger conservation policy.

Commentary

The impact of India’s conservation policy on locals (indigenous people) and forests are underestimated according to a survey.

This article, a bit hard to read, is about these subjects.

Interesting read to understand more about the “success” of Indian conservation.

Human tiger-conflict tiger

Original source, credits text and photograph

The Indian Express

Title

Content

Pandharkawda is no tiger reserve. Yet, one of the most gripping tiger stories to have emerged out of India’s forests in recent times was in this forest division in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra, where T1, a tigress nicknamed Awani who had been declared a maneater, was shot dead last year in controversial circumstances.

Over 150 km away, is Bramhapuri. Like Pandharkawada, this forest division in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra has had its share of man-animal conflicts. Over the last seven months, tigers and leopards have claimed about 10 human lives and the Forest Department has had to move out at least two tigers and two leopards.

Commentary

Because Indian tiger reserves get full of tigers other problems, like human-tiger-conflicts and poaching will increase. Therefore India needs to develop its conservation model.

Tiger census

Amid the regular distressing news of tiger deaths due to vehicular accidents and retaliatory killings, the findings of the “Status of Tigers in India-2018” report are heartening. In 2010, the Chinese Year of the Tiger, at the Tiger Summit in Saint Petersburg, India and the other 12 tiger range countries committed to doubling wild tiger numbers by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger. In 2010, the estimated wild tiger population in India was 1706; the latest corresponding figure is 2967, within sight of the target, and well in time. Collectively, the nation needs to celebrate. Since the last estimate of 2266 tigers in 2014, the report shows an impressive 31 per cent increase.

Although the report has its share of unanswered questions as well as grey areas of interpretation, we do not find any obvious discrepancies. Particularly impressive is the scientific rigour and the use of modern techniques of estimation. The methodology is as robust as it can be, using a combination of camera trap images, pug marks, tiger scats as well as habitat mapping. With a survey that covered 3,81,400 km of forested habitats in 20 tiger range states of India involving a foot survey of 5,22,996 km and camera traps deployed at 26,838 locations, one cannot question the robustness of the exercise. Most importantly, a total of 2,461 individual tigers were photo-captured. Thereafter, combining the estimated forest areas, grading them based on prey density and local ecology, the overall tiger population was anywhere between 2,603 to 3,346 with a standard error of approximately 12 per cent.

Kaziranga tiger

An evaluation report on India’s tiger reserves has put the spotlight on an alleged nexus between some officials of Kaziranga National Park and poachers.

Kaziranga, a World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO, is more popular as the world’s best address for the one-horned rhino. It is also been a major tiger reserve covering an area of 1,080 sq km.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier this week released the management effectiveness evaluation reports for tiger reserves across the country, including Kaziranga.

Census tiger

Large, solitary predators hate being seen. They owe their entire existence to being able to avoid detection by prey and sneak close before attacking.

Hence, when we want to count tigers, the tigers don’t help. But accurate population numbers are fundamental to good conservation. Every four years since 2006, the Indian government conducts a national census of tigers and other wildlife.

The efforts the project team undertakes to derive the tiger population estimate are nothing short of phenomenal: 44,000 field staff conducted almost 318,000 habitat surveys across 20 tiger-occupied states of India. Some 381,400 km² was checked for tigers and their prey.

Dead tiger Bandhavgarh

At the same time that Madhya Pradesh was celebrating the conservation success of the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, three tigers have died in two days.

A tigress and her cub were found dead in Kalwa range of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh ‘s Umaria district. The tigress and her cub died after a fight with a tiger, read a statement from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve . The carcasses of the tigress and her cub were found on July 28, while the officials are in search for another cub of the tigress and the tiger, which attacked them.

The second incident took place near a village in Umariya range, where a 9-month-old young-adult tiger was killed by a male tiger.

Captive tiger SA

A new report by global NGO, World Animal Protection, provides a damning indictment on the captive predator breeding industry. Big cats are being bred for the use of their bones in traditional Chinese medicine. China is estimated to house about 8 000 tigers in captivity, while South Africa may have as many as 14 000 lions. Nontobeko Mtshali asks Ross Harvey to analyse the issues around captive breeding in South Africa.

Is the South African government doing enough to manage the fact that it’s got the biggest number of wild cats in captivity?

No. The fact that it has the largest number of big cats in captivity in the world – anywhere north of 8 000 – across an estimated 300 facilities – is evidence of an industry out of control. It remains largely unregulated.

The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries admits that it doesn’t know how many facilities there are. Nor does it know how many predators are in captivity.

Captive breeding is permissible under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The trade in products arising from it is permitted under an annotation. But the International Union for the Conservation of Nature – the world’s foremost conservation body – has unequivocally called for its termination.

MP tiger

Even though Madhya Pradesh has reported highest tiger population with 526 tigers, according to All India Tiger Estimation Report 2018 released on Monday, the state has lost 17781.588 acres of Very Dense Forest (VDF) and Moderately Dense Forest (MDF) in last four years, reveals the Forest Survey of India (FSI) report.

Between 2013 and 2015, the state lost 14,826.323 acres of land (60 sq km). Between 2015 and 2017, the state lost 2955.265 acres of forest land (12 sq km), the SFI report says.

Madhya Pradesh is the second largest state in terms of forest area in the country, but the forest is constantly shrinking in the state, the report says.

In 2013, the state had 77,522 sq km forest area, which reduced to 77,462 sq km by 2015 – marking a loss of 60 sq km (14826.323 acres). And between 2015 and 2017, the state has lost 48 sq km (11,861 acres) of forest land and total forest area shrunk from 77, 462 to 77,414 sq km. 

ROAR TIGERS
Countries choose their ‘national animal’ with great care and after intense deliberation. Until 1973, ours was the lion. It was replaced by the Royal Bengal tiger when Project Tiger was started in 1973. The tiger symbolises strength, agility and power.
 
Since 2010, both India and China have been rescuing and conserving their national animals – the tiger and the giant panda, respectively — after a long period of neglect, resulting in alarming reductions in their populations.
 

India and China got the wake-up call in 2006 and 2004, respectively. China realised that the number of giant pandas had slipped to 1,596; tiger population in India had hit an all-time low of 1,411. Loss of habitats was the primary cause behind the drop in the numbers. China plunged into saving the giant panda. By 2016, the country had a bloated population of pandas. The giant panda, a global icon, had been moved from ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Bangkok Post tiger

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation is in negotiations to reclaim a forest pass from the military in a bid to improve the wildlife habitat in the Western Forest Complex.

“If the pass is annexed with the national park, the break in the forest will be bridged and tigers from the Upper Western Forest Complex will easily be able to move to into the Phetchaburi and Ratchaburi areas and then onwards into Myanmar. That will enlarge their breeding area,” said Songtham Suksawang, director of the National Park Office.

The pass is located between Sai Yok National Park in Kanchanaburi and Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi.

Myanmar tiger

Hopes for the survival of Myanmar’s endangered tigers have been cautiously raised thanks to the discovery of three cubs over the past five years in a wildlife reserve in Sagaing Region.

In the course of a survey conducted by Wildlife Conservation Society-Myanmar (WCS-Myanmar) over the past five years, photographs of three tiger cubs were snapped by camera traps in the Tamanthi Wildlife Reserve, which lies on the eastern bank of the Chindwin River, across from the town of Tamanthi in Hkamti District of Sagaing Region.

“For around 15 years prior to 2015, the tiger population in Myanmar declined drastically. But fortunately, we have had three tigers born in the past five years,” WCS-Myanmar deputy director U Hla Naing told The Irrawaddy.

Leonardi Dicaprio tiger

Leonardo DiCaprio this morning posted an optimistic message applauding Thailand’s wildlife conservation efforts for World Tiger Day.

The Hollywood A-lister, who’s poured money into philanthropic efforts, cited the Thai government’s “long-term” collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society for their numbers “roaring back” by 60% at a central wildlife sanctuary.

“As a result, tiger numbers in the sanctuary have risen dramatically, from 41 in 2010-11 to 66 today,” DiCaprio wrote of Uthai Thani province’s Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary.

White tiger census

TIGERS AND CATTLE

The Union Environment Ministry and the Department of Livestock and Animal Husbandry are exploring a scheme to devise an insurance policy that will compensate people who lose their livestock to tigers.

A day after India declared that it had 2,967 tigers — a 33% jump since the last tiger census in 2014 — officials from several Ministries met on Tuesday to discuss ways to ensure that these gains were not lost.

The growing tiger base, however, has also brought with it challenges of man-animal conflict, with reports of tigers preying on cattle and sometimes mauling humans who live in the vicinity of their habitat. “Currently, there is no policy on compensating people for such cattle lost because tiger reserves are no-go areas, and people and cattle are not supposed to be present. However, in the larger interest of reducing man-animal conflict, we need to think of such measures,” said Siddhantha Das, Director-General (Forests), Union Environment Mministry. He was one of the participants in the meeting.

Maharashtra tigers

Though Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka have more tigers, Maharashtra has nearly doubled its tiger population since 2010, an activist said here on Monday.

As per the 2018 Status of Tigers in India Report released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on today, Maharashtra has more than 312 tigers of the total 2,967 estimated tiger population in India, bringing cheers to conservationists and activists. The tiger population in Maharashtra has shown a consistent increase in the past 12 years, according to Kishore Rithe of Satpuda Foundation, who is a former member of Standing Committee of National Board for Wildlife.

“In 2006, the state had 103 tigers, it increased to 168 in 2010, climbed to 190 in 2014 and in 2018, the estimate is 312 tigers in the wild or nearly double since 2010,” Rithe told IANS. According to Rithe, the biggest factors credited with the increase in tiger population in Maharashtra is the successful ‘village relocation policy’, zero-tolerance towards poaching and wildlife trade, besides wildlife staff recruitment and placing efficient officers to man the wildlife sanctuaries.

IUCN Cambodia tigers

Six tigers will be brought into Cambodia from India and released into the Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary in Mondulkiri province in 2022, while wildlife protection organisations have urged all stakeholders to raise awareness of the importance of tiger conservation.

Provincial Department of Environment director Keo Sopheak told The Post on Monday that India had agreed to export six tigers and release them into the sanctuary to help restore the species to Cambodia.

According to Wildlife Alliance, the last record of a tiger in Cambodia was in November 2007 in Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary.

Sopheak said: “From 2022 to 2023, if we think that the amount of food available for tigers has sufficiently increased, we will implement the plan and release them here.

Siberian tiger

After nearly 20 years of efforts, China has built a monitoring network for endangered Siberian tigers and Amur leopards, covering more than 12,000 square kilometers in the provinces of Jilin and Heilongjiang, an expert said on Sunday.

With cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data, more than 4,000 infrared camera video clips of tigers and more than 600 clips of leopards were recorded by a team led by Jiang Guangshun, deputy director of the Feline Research Center of the Natural Forestry and Grassland Administration.

“By comparing the data of tigers and leopards of China and Russia from 2013 to 2015, we have confirmed that 17 tigers and 42 leopards are shared populations of both China and Russia,” Jiang said at the International Forum on Tiger and Leopard Transboundary Conservation which kicked off on Sunday in Harbin, Heilongjiang province.

Bandhavgarh tiger

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India this week announced some amazing news: The country’s wild tiger populations have increased by 30 percent in just the past four years. Buoyed by intense conservation efforts, India is now reportedly home to an estimated 2,967 Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris).

To put this in context, India’s tiger population was estimated at 2,226 in 2016, when the wild population of all tiger subspecies was placed at 3,890. That was a big increase over 2010’s estimate, which placed the world population at just 3,200 after several years of rampant poaching for the animals’ skins and body parts, which are all too often used in traditional Asian medicine.

India credited increased monitoring and stricter wildlife policies for the population increase, which puts the country four years head of its goal to double its wild tiger populations.

Indian tiger news

The healthy growth in the number of tigers in the wild in India is good news indeed. There are some 2,967 tigers in the wild in India according to the All India Tiger Estimation Report 2018, which the fourth cycle of the Tiger Census.

This is a 33 per cent increase over the 2014 census. With this, India has achieved the target set in 2010 St Petersburg Declaration of doubling tiger population by 2022.

While there is much to celebrate, this moment of India’s success in tiger conservation should not result in complacency. The good news is that the rise in tiger population in India has been possible in large measure due to implementation of tiger landscape conservation plans, identification of important habitat corridors, designation and creation of inviolate critical core and buffer areas for tiger reserves and the identification and declaration of new tiger reserves. There are now 50 tiger reserves across the country.

The gains not withstanding it is possible that India, which is home to more than 60 per cent of the global tiger population, is reaching its maximum capacity to host free-ranging tigers. Experts put the current limit at anywhere between 2500 to 3000 tigers in the wild. Several assessments reveal that some 25 to 35 per cent of the tigers are now living outside the protected reserve areas.

The number of instances of conflict between tigers and human populations from several parts of the country over the last few weeks gives further credence to the idea that perhaps that India is reaching the limits of its capacity to host tigers in the wild. But this need not be the case. Experts say capacity assessments reveal that India could host as many as 10,000 to 15,000 tigers in the wild.

Bhutan tiger

Conservation efforts have also contributed massively to this unusual density. “The Royal Government of Bhutan is committed to protecting the tiger,” says Lobzang Dorji, Director of Bhutan’s Department of Forests and Park Services. “We recognize the immense value this creature has for our ecosystems and our country and we want to do all we can to ensure its survival.”

The tiger benefits from strict protections in Bhutan, as it does in many other range countries. Despite this, poaching remains a constant threat no matter where tigers are found.

One of the keys to tiger survival will be guaranteed habitat. In this aspect, Bhutan excels. Bhutan’s constitution mandates the government to maintain at least 60 per cent forest cover in perpetuity, ensuring a long-term stable environment for the tiger.

The killing of Avni tiger

What was it about Avni’s killing that captured the public imagination? This was not the first time a tiger was killed, and it won’t be the last. Perhaps it was because Avni was a good mother, who raised her cubs well, in spite of the adversities – until she was felled. Or perhaps it was the manner in which the saga unfolded, with an external sharpshooter being summoned, raising questions about the forest setup’s capability of resolving such issues?

But while the outrage has made this a high-profile case, it also has taken away the attention from the question of why such a situation arose in the first place.

Simply, the conservation of tigers doesn’t hinge on either the preservation or elimination of an individual tiger. Tigers, like any other species, thrive when they have a good habitat, ample prey and cover. Scaled up efforts and conservation, stringent anti-poaching measures will result in the proliferation of tigers. This, in turn, will lead to the perpetual dispersal of individuals from source populations, barring the one-off adult female who ventures out of protected spaces to protect her cubs from male tigers looking to move in.

Sundarbans tiger at risk

With the intervention of humans, be it poaching or destruction of habitat, Bengal Tigers are now facing a new threat in the form of a dwindling male population.

The number of male tigers has come down alarmingly; so much so that the male-female ratio now stands at 1:10.

According to experts, the ideal male-female ratio is 1:3, but it so happens that the threats of extinction has affected male tigers more than the females.

The government is in the process of relocating tigers to up their population, particularly of male tigers.

“The number of male tigers is declining, which is very alarming. We have observed one male tiger against 10 females, but the ideal ratio is one against three. If in any case a male tiger dies or becomes a victim of poaching, female tigers in that area will face severe problems,” Md Jahidul Kabir, conservator of forests of the forest department, told The Daily Star yesterday.

ITD foto of tiger
Nearly a decade since 13 tiger range countries came together in St. Petersburg, Russia owing to double the big cat population by 2022, their goal seems nowhere in sight. In fact, India’s efforts to protect tigers is in some ways a victim of its own success.

Take for instance, a disturbing video shot in the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve of Uttar Pradesh recently, showed the local villagers brutally trashing a six-year-old tigress. It is believed that the tigress has injured nine people and hence the villagers decided to kill the animal.

North Sikkim tiger

A fresh new sighting of a royal Bengal tiger in Gamthangpu above Lachen in north Sikkim has got the state talking.

The national animal was spotted at an altitude of 3,600 m above sea level through camera traps set up by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as part of its special high-altitude tiger project under the National Tiger Conservation Authority.

The WWF is conducting a detailed survey in the region and has placed multiple camera traps across different locations in the state. It has also initiated a similar project for tiger conservation in West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Future for tigers uncertain

An adult tiger from Pilibhit Tiger Reserve in Uttar Pradesh brutally beaten to death by villagers on July 24; 12 tigers dying due to electrocution in last 2.5 years and 5 tigers being poisoned to death in last six months in Maharashtra alone.

These are just indicators about the threats tigers face and also raises doubts whether conservation is heading in right direction. Even if figures released by Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), a NGO working for wildlife law enforcement, are considered, there is spurt in tiger body parts seizures indicating rise in poaching. In 2018, of the 104 tiger deaths recorded in India, 43 were unnatural including 34 due to poaching, 4 shot dead or killed by villagers and 3 dying in accidents.

“Till July 25 this year, 76 tiger deaths have been recorded, more than 70% of the total deaths in 2018. These include 31 due to poaching,” says Tito Joseph, programme coordinator of WPSI. The figures indicate that the highest-tiger-holding status with India is itself a challenge for tiger conservation.

The county’s tiger habitats are under critical conditions facing tremendous anthropogenic as well as development pressure as a result of which tigers are killed in human attacks, poaching, human-centric acts and linear projects. “Tigers could not even adopt natural behaviour for survival or avoid internal specie competition due to loss of large natural forest cover.

Even fragmented forest patches are hardly available for their survival. This is the biggest challenge India faces to manage tiger populations,” says Prafulla Bhamburkar, coordinator of Maharashtra, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). This year, Maharashtra lost 15 tigers, of which 6 deaths were due to poisoning (3 in Chimur) and 3 due to body parts seizure after electrocution in Bhandara district. The state is second to neighbouring Madhya Pradesh which lost 17 tigers in last 7 months.

Caspian tiger reintroduced

Once the tigers were predicted to soon become extinct in the world if effective conservation measures are not deployed, July 29 was observed as a day dedicated to awareness and support worldwide to conserve the tigers whose population dropped dramatically to less than 4,000 individuals in the wild.

Caspian tiger’s roar has not been heard for years

Once upon a time, the Caspian tiger (Panthera tigris virgata) ranged from eastern Turkey through the southern Caspian region of northern Iran to the forested areas in Afghanistan, and northwestern China.

Since the beginning of 19th century, the Caspian tiger was rapidly losing ground to humankind, thus it was deprived of its habitat and prey and soon became a beast in its own territory, so conflicts started to hunt them down as a menace to human settlements.

Therefore, in the mid-20th century, their population whose genetic roots spanned over a million years started to shrink sharply, and finally vanished by the 1950s.

Although, there are reports of the last remaining Caspian tiger which was shot in Golestan National Park in 1953, five years later, some claimed that a tiger has been spotted in Golestan area.
The Department of Environment’s experts have tried to find evidence of Caspian tiger existence searching their previous habitats for several years in the early 1970s, but not a single sign has been found.

Malayan tiger conservation

The Perak State Park Corporation issued a call for global support to mark World Tiger Day 2019 to save the critically endangered Malayan tiger.

Once estimated at 3,000 animals in Peninsular Malaysia, recent studies have shown an alarming drop in tiger populations. Even as the Perak state works with conservation groups to create larger habitats for tigers, the greatest threat to the Malayan tiger is poaching.

WWF Malaysia had previously warned that the “influx of foreign poachers into Malaysia’s forests is alarming.” This followed an earlier warning that a “quiet invasion by poaching syndicates from Indochina” is due to the disappearance of the wild tiger in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

The current population estimate of the Malayan tiger places their numbers at less than 200 animals in all of Peninsular Malaysia.

Striped lion

When the Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP) was rolled out in 2010, it announced the exigency and intent in rather dramatic terms.

The programme, endorsed in the St Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation, was billed as the “last best hope for tigers”. Inaction could lead to extinction of the “world’s most magnificent species”, the programme’s executive summary had warned. Nine years into the ambitious programme, designed over the period between 2010 and 2022, the intent appears to have translated to a rise in the number of big cats in India, one of the 13 Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) in the GTRP.

The TRCs’ shared goal of doubling the number of tigers globally by 2022 could still be viewed as unrealistic but conservationists see in these numbers a possibility to optimise ongoing efforts — in restoring a depleted prey base, reviving habitats, building new resources for site-specific strategies and more crucially, in improving protection of forests with minimal conflict.

Y V Jhala, scientist at the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India, sees in the task for 2022 a “good target for politicians” to work toward and feels that the post-2010 thrust has, despite setbacks in some of the TRCs, had impressive returns. The senior scientist is working on the 2018 tiger census, a project that monitors the status of tigers, co-predators, prey and their habitat in India. The report is scheduled to be released by the end of July.