Orissa rejects tiger population figures
Wednesday 13th February, 2008 (IANS)
Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Wednesday said the state has more tigers than what was projected by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
According to the NTCA figures, released Tuesday, there are only an estimated 1,411 tigers left in the wild in India, less than half the number found in the 2002 census.
The figures showed Orissa had less than 60 tigers and of them the Simplipal National Park – one of the first project tiger reserves in the country – houses only 30.
‘This figure is not accurate,’ Patnaik said reacting to the Tiger census report.
‘The methods adopted to count the tiger were not accurate,’ Patnaik who heads the state forest and wild life department said.
The Similipal National Park has alone over 100 tigers, he said. Tigers are also present in other places of the state.
The state government will send its objection to the central government soon, the chief minister said.
However, National Board for Wildlife said that the Orissa chief minister had not the accurate figures as state forest officers were misleading him.
‘The chief minister is being misled by his officers,’ said Biswajit Mohanty, a member of the board that is chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
‘He should take actions against them for covering the truth regarding huge loss of tigers in the state,’ he said.
Mohanty described the method adopted by the central census has been accepted worldwide and is the latest technology to estimate the numbers of tigers.
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