Tiger baby boom welcome news in India
23 May 2008
No less than 14 tiger cubs have been seen recently in Ranthambore National Park, a tiger reserve in western Indian state of Rajasthan.
According to the park managers, the cubs belong to different mothers and some other tigresses are pregnant. Some experts said they got information about cubs sightings in other reserves as well.
“This is great news. If we get new tigers cubs, it means that their habitat is good and that Ranthambore offers good conditions for breeding”, said Sujoy Banerjee, WWF India Director of Species Conservation.
Nonetheless, poachers are always a major threat on tigers and the big cats remain vulnerable, even inside reserves. Habitat loss is another threat on them.
Ranthambore NP covers an area of some 400 km2 and is one of India’s Project Tiger reserves. This wildlife conservation project was initiated by the country in 1972 with the help and funding of WWF.
The management reported a population of 32 tigers when the latest census was published earlier this year. In 2004 the park was home to 46 animals.
Tigers are poached for their body parts, with the market being a key source of demand.
This trade is illegal but a single dead tiger can fetch up to $50.000 in the black market.