Steady Decline in Tiger’s Habitat Goes Against Tiger Estimation Report Conclusions

Tiger habitat in the country has been steadily declining in India. Between 2006 to 2010 the country has lost 20,000 sq km of tiger habitat bringing the area down to 72,800 sq km. Close to 30% of the population is outside tiger reserves and there is no real strategy to deal with the situation. The fragmented habitats and shrinking corridors between protected areas mean that young tigers have no room to disperse and create new territories. There are some bright spots such as the Western Ghats, where is a good network between the existing large reserves. The Tamil Nadu Forest Department has also been steadily increasing the protection for reserve forests outside Mudumalai and results can be seen in the Sigur and Singara ranges of the Nilgiris, extending down into the Moyar valley where tigers have rebounded. More areas across the country are set to become tiger reserves. But this is going to be offset by more areas that will be lost. Examples include the submerging of large parts of the Panna reserve due to the Ken-Betwa river linking project. Power projects in Bhutan will destroy large parts of Buxa and Manas reserves. Other reserves in Maharashtra face threats from road widening and highway construction efforts.


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