West Bengal forest officials trap a stray tiger

February 23rd, 2008 - 1:32 pm ICT by admin  

Manmohan Singh
Kolkata, Feb 23 (ANI): Wildlife authorities in authorities in West Bengals 24 South Parganas District brought a wounded stray tiger to a veterinary care center in Kolkata after trapping it in Sunderbans mangroves.
The big cat had strayed into an inhabited area of the Dhorkhali forest, said Subhendu Bandopadhyaya, Divisional Forest Officer.
It was the second incident in the last couple of days of a big cat straying into an inhabited area. A few days ago a tigress was trapped by villagers and later released into the forest.
Currently nearly four million people reside in the Sunderbans delta.
A Government survey earlier this month said the countrys tiger population has plummeted to around 1,411, which is nearly half the previous estimate.
On Friday, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh chaired a meeting to review Tiger conservation status in the country and the functioning of the National Tiger Conservation Authority and said that the government is fully committed to Tiger conservation.
While expressing concern about the decline in Tiger population, he noted that recent estimates of Tiger population, arrived at on the basis of a new methodology, couldn’t be compared with earlier estimates.
The Prime Minister directed that the Centre should fund modernization of Tiger Reserves management, including recruitment of staff from local population and providing them adequate equipment.
Dr Singh sought a State-specific strategy for such central assistance.
The government has recently approved an enhanced relocation package of up to Rs. 10 lakhs per family for families living in Tiger Reserves.
Schemes for rehabilitation of traditional hunters; for supporting new Tiger Reserves; for supporting eco-tourism benefiting local communities; for deployment of anti-poaching staff; and, for improving service conditions of forest officers have also been taken up.
Noting that some States have a better record of Tiger conservation than others, the meeting stressed the importance of the concerned State Governments paying focused attention.
The Chief Ministers have been asked to take personal charge of Tiger conservation and forest management.
The Prime Minister will convene a Conference of Chief Ministers with Tiger Reserves to put in place a coordinated response to the challenge of Tiger conservation.
The latest tiger census by the government-run National Tiger Conservation Authority is based on a complex counting method.
The previous census carried out in 2001 and 2002 said there were 3,642 tigers. A century ago there were 40,000. (ANI)

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