Bengal: Comprehensive tiger estimation report to be released in July
Kolkata, Apr. 19 (PTI) A comprehensive tiger assessment report to be released in West Bengal in July is expected to shed light on the “true situation” of the big cats’ population in three forest reserves of North Bengal, a top wildlife official said. On Wednesday.
Bengal’s Chief Wildlife Warden Debal Roy said a detailed analysis would reveal whether the three forest reserves – Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, Neora Valley National Park and Buxa Tiger Reserve – can be classified as tiger reserves or described as hangouts for big cats.
“We will give details in the state’s comprehensive tiger assessment report, which will come out by July. All I can say now is that the findings at three locations in North Bengal are encouraging. There were signs of tiger presence in these areas, especially in the Neora Valley National Park for a long time. Now there is reason to believe that it is true,” Roy told PTI.
Several anti-poaching activities undertaken by the forest department over the past few years and a continuous public awareness campaign involving local people are now bearing fruit, the official said.
“A detailed analysis will give a comprehensive idea about the actual situation,” said the Chief Wildlife Warden.
Previous tiger assessment reports have highlighted the concentration of the big cats in the Sundarbans, where the number was 100 based on the camera trap technique in the last census.
The vast prey base and optimal habitats have contributed to the sustained growth of tigers, especially in the Sundarbans, Roy said.
“In the Sundarbans, there is a widespread and uniform distribution of deer and the forest department is regularly releasing deer in the Sajnekhali Deer Reserve. The Sundarbans have a significant population of wild boars, which help build the ecosystem,” he added.
State Forest Minister Jyotipriyo Mallick had expressed displeasure over the omission of tiger numbers in places like Neora Valley National Park and Buxa Tiger Reserve in the All India Report released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently.
Camera trap images revealed the presence of big cats in Neora Valley National Park and Buxa Tiger Reserve. The official said the tigers may have come from neighboring Bhutan and Assam to use the riverine forest. PTI SUS MM MM