Buxa has 12 tigers, says latest census

Buxa has 12 tigers, says latest census
Suchetana Haldar
Posted online: Monday, January 21, 2008 at 0016 hrs IST
Kolkata, January 20
Wildlife lovers and activists, who were sceptical about the presence of tigers in the Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR), may now heave a sigh of relief. For the latest tiger census confirms the presence of at least 12 tigers in Buxa, including four adult males, six adult females and two cubs.
Forest officials are hopeful to confirm the presence of another four to eight big cats in Buxa in another two months.
“There are a minimum of 12 tigers in the reserve by a conservative estimate. There are evidence suggesting the presence of at least another four to eight tigers. But we have not considered the latter cases because these evidence were either based on scats or poor quality of pug marks. Some of the cases were doubtful as these bordered between sub-adult tigers and big leopards. So, we decided to leave these cases till they could be confirmed by additional field work,” said S S Bist, Chief Wildlife Warden, forest department.
The state forest department and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) conducted the tiger census from December 11 to 15, last year. Twelve NGOs participated in the tiger enumeration process. Four wildlife experts from the National Tiger Conservation Authority, Zoological Survey of India, WWF-India and state board of wildlife were also present during the census. This time, the forest department took into account ecological and biological factors as well, including evidence like direct sightings, kills, scats and scratch marks.
Pugmarks were found to be well-dispersed in forests between the rivers Pana and Sankosh, spreading over 600 sq km, which is over 80 per cent area of Buxa. Scats collected during the tiger census have been sent to the WII for DNA analysis. The final results are expected in March.

For The Tiger


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