State forest department questions WII tiger census
Express news service
Posted online: Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 2354 hrs IST
Lucknow, February 22
The Uttar Pradesh Forest and Wildlife Department today questioned the census conducted by Wildlife Institute of India (WII), which stated that the number of tigers in the state is falling. Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and Wildlife D S Suman said the department had not received the complete report of the new census.
He said: “As per my knowledge, census report does not detail the criteria used for counting and the limitations of the sampling technique.”
Suman also pointed to the possibility of the exclusion of tiger cubs below 15 months in the census. “Besides, the state is known to have ‘cane tigers’ whose habitat is the cane fields. Whether these have been included in the census is not clear,” Suman stated.
He added that the department had communicated the possibilities to WII.
Suman blamed the new method for showing a decreased number of tigers. Earlier, the census was done with the help of voluntary organisations along with representatives of WII. The Government of India had approved this method, he said.
Suman said earlier the pugmark-identification method was prevalent but now it had been replaced by the camera-trap method.
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