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Tiger population rises in Maha: Census

June 03, 2005 22:57 IST

Maharashtra has registered an increase in the number of tigers at the end of two phases in an ongoing census, official sources said on Friday.

This comes at a time when wildlife experts are voicing concern over the decreasing population of tigers in the country.

"Preliminary reports indicate a rise in the tiger population-- from 238 in the previous census in 2001 to 303 now," Maharashtra Forest Minister Babanrao Pachpute said in Mumbai.

He said the final figure on the exact number of tigers in the state forests would be known only after end of the last phase.

"The initial report on tiger population is rewarding for the state particularly when concern had been raised over the dwindling population of the wild cat," Pachpute said.

He added that the government would undertake a special programme of forest conservation and availability of food for the animal.

The forest minister said the population of leopard had also shown increase from 513 in 2001 to 713 in the present census.

The state has also decided to construct reservoirs and grow a special variety of grass in the forests, Pachpute added.

He said around 75,000 people, including non-governmental organisations, environmentalists and college students, were involved in conducting the census operation in the state.

Also read:

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Tiger population falls in Bihar's Valmiki National Park

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