Good news! 117 tiger cubs sighted in nine reserves
Gyan Varma / DNAFriday, April 9, 2010 0:10 IST
New Delhi: Finally, there is some good news from the jungles.
Conservationists in the government have sighted 117 tiger cubs in nine reserves in the past 15 months.
Favourable developments are happening in the national tiger conservation authority (NTCA), but wildlife officials are keeping their fingers crossed, hoping the cubs grow up safely.
The past few years have been worrisome for tigers in India — over 135 have died since the last census figures came out in 2006. To make matters worse, 80 tigers died in the nine reserves between January 2009 and March 2010. Last year was the bloodiest when 66 big cats were killed or died due to natural causes.
“Increasing number of tigersmeans breeding is happening in reserves,” Yadvendradev Jhala, a leading Wildlife Institute of India scientist, said. He, however, said the 117 cubs could not be included in the ongoing census. “Only adult tigers are counted,” Jhala said.
NTCA officials said the sighting of cubs was a good sign after so many deaths in a year, but it was important to protect them, so that they become adults and add to the population of tigers in India. “They multiply fast, but their mortality rate is also high. India loses 25-30 tigers every year, but 2009, when 66 cats died, was an exception,” an NTCA member said.
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