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Tigers are now back at Assams Manas reserve

The Asian Age
13 May 2017

The authorities are yet to announce the census report of Nameri National Park, another tiger reserve in Assam
The authorities are yet to announce the census report of Nameri National Park, another tiger reserve in Assam

Guwahati: The Manas National Park has recorded the presence of at least 30 tigers in just-concluded tiger census. The number is more than double the figure of the 2016 census.

The growth in tiger population in one out of four tiger reserves has come as a major encouragement for the forest department as conservationists pointed out the preliminary figure for Kaziranga National Park is not out yet but they expect it to cross the 140-mark. The authorities are yet to announce the census report of Nameri National Park, another tiger reserve in Assam.

Pointing out that this also marks the biggest ever tiger population in Manas after one-and-a-half decades of social unrest, beginning in 1989 that had pushed the tiger reserve to the brink, the conservationists believe that this is a huge moral booster to conservation initiatives in Manas National Park. The park has been on a recovery path after regaining the World Heritage Site status. The last census had recorded the presence of only 14 tigers in Manas.

Field director of Manas Tiger Reserve, Hiranya Sharma, said, “The latest tiger census done through camera-trapping has recorded 30 tigers, 24 of those being adult tigers. The adult male-female break-up is 12-11, while the sex of one could not be determined.”

Mr Sharma also clarified that last year’s census had left the Panbari Range due to logistics constraints. “This time we covered the entire Manas landscape (in India). The increase in the tiger number is significant and a shot in the arm for Manas’ long-term conservation prospects,” he said. In 2016, the census, which was part of a trans-boundary (Manas National Park and Royal Manas National Park of Bhutan) survey, had recorded 25 tigers, of which 11 were from Royal Manas National Park and 14 from Manas National Park. Manas National Park provides shelter to at least 22 endangered species.

Location: India, Assam, Guwahati (Gauhati)