Tiger numbers rise, but habitats shrink

July 28th, 2011 - 9:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) While tiger numbers in India have risen by 12 percent over 2006, tiger habitats have shrunk by 22 percent, detailed report of the 2010 tiger census released Thursday said.

Tiger habitats have decreased from 936,000 hectares to 728,000, especially in northern Andhra Pradesh - East Godavari, Karimnagar, Vishakhapatnam - due to poaching and development, it said.

“Commercial poaching, although it has come down, continues to be a big threat to the tiger population,” said Vinod B. Mathur of the Wildlife Institute of India.

“Lack of skilled manpower is another concern when it comes to management of tiger reserves. There is a 30 percent shortage in manpower,” he said.

“The funds generated from tourism in the tiger reserves do not go back to the reserve, which should be recycled. The money generated from the entry tickets go to the state government and the money from the lodges go to the owners,” Mathur said.

Mathur suggested Madhya Pradesh as a model and said 20-30 percent of the revenue earned should go back to the reserve.

Tigers number 1,706 across the country, marking an increase of 295 from 2006, a report released in March said.

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