|Govt got its math on tigers wrong?
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, May 15, 2011
may have got its latest tiger population estimation wrong. On Friday,
eight top wildlife experts, in a letter published in the Science
magazine, said environment minister Jairam Ramesh's announcement that
the tiger population had increased from 1,411 in 2006 to 1,706 in 2010
was based on "unreliable" data.
The letter added to the pressure
on the government to adopt a new comprehensive methodology to count the
tigers. K Ullas Karanth and seven Indian and international scientists
said in their letter, "These (government's) assertions cannot be
verified because details of tiger photo-captures at sampled locations,
as well as of spatial extrapolations from these data, are incomplete."
hit back by accusing Karanth, a member of the ministry's National Tiger
Conservation Authority, of being intellectually dishonest and said the
tiger estimation was correct. "Karanth is like the species (tiger) he
studies -- extremely territory-conscious and essentially a loner," he
said in an email to HT.
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