From the current data-collection exercise, it has been observed that Bengal tigers are doing well outside the protected area of Sunderbans Tiger Reserve (STR). The camera trap data of 2015 showed the presence of at least 22 tigers in the South 24-Parganas forest division, which is spread over 1,500sq km. However, the 2016 practice is still underway, but authorities are confident about the stable tiger population.
The camera trap has captured the image of four cubs outside the Sundarban tiger reserve, a figure the authorities haven’t included in the figure of 22. The current statistics points to the fact that areas outside the core zone have a good population of tigers that are breeding well.
Pradeep Vyas, chief wildlife warden, said that the latest data is not available. And the addition of a couple of new tigers doesn’t have much significance. He further elaborated the situation by saying that Global Tiger Forum, National Tiger Conservation Authority and the ministry of environment and forests would implement the Conservation Assured|Tiger Standard (CA|TS), a tool of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. CA|TS sets minimum standards for effective management of target species in protected areas. Vyas said the management evaluation outside the protected areas would be based on six criteria, including protection measures, the presence of tigers and use of technology.
Telling the importance of wildlife outside the protected area, Biswajit Roy Chowdhury of Nature Environment and Wildlife Society (NEWS), said that, most tiger reserves in India have crossed their carrying capacity. Unless tigers outside the protected areas are counted, the entire tiger census will remain incomplete.
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News Source: Times of India.