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Reserves not clear on tiger numbers, one may be denotified

THE INDIAN EXPRESS
July 28, 2009
Neha Sinha


Of the 37 tiger reserves in the country, there is no information available on the number of tigers — or if there are any at all — in as many as seven. The Indian Express discovered this at an All India Meet for Tiger Reserve Directors in Sariska over the weekend, where each of them made their presentations.

Given the figures, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) Member Secretary Rajesh Gopal admitted that at least one of the reserves, Indravati in Chhattisgarh, should be denotified. With Indravati in the grip of Naxalism, he said, “tiger protection efforts in the past 20 years have failed”.

Six other reserves are facing similar problems — while Simlipal (Orissa) and Palamau (Jharkhand) are shackled by violent Naxalite groups, Manas (Assam), Namdapha (Arunachal Pradesh), Dampa (Mizoram) and Buxa (West Bengal) suffer from problems of inaccessibility and poor tiger density.

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