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RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 07-19-2014

Cameratrap pics of Varvara (Varya)

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RE: Bigcats News - Pckts - 07-21-2014

Tigerwalah shared Sariska Tiger Reserve's status.12 hours agoexcellent news......Some good news to share, Sariska blessed with more cubs.....ST2 sighted with 2 cubs....total count increases to 11. #tigercubs #sariska #tiger#tigerpopulation.

RE: Bigcats News - Roflcopters - 07-23-2014

Will tigers march ahead? Scientists find surprising connections between isolated populations in Central India

In May 2011, a young male Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) made its way to a village in the state of Karnataka in India. The tiger had been quite a hiker. To reach the village, it had walked more than 280 kilometers (174 miles) from Bandipur Tiger Reserve, a protected area famous for these elusive big cats. 

Understanding where the tiger had begun its marathon had not been very difficult. Once it was caught in the village by the forest department staff, a team of wildlife scientists matched its unique fingerprint-like stripe pattern with the stripe patterns of all tigers in their voluminous camera-trap photo-database. They soon found a match. The tiger was last “seen” by a camera in Bandipur in February 2010. 

Sometime between then and May 2011, it had managed to reach the village traveling through large human settlements, highways and agricultural fields, unnoticed. 

While such long distance movements of tigers elicit awe, they are not uncommon. In fact, treks like these could indicate that tiger populations may be connected to each other, despite existing primarily in far removed islands of protected areas surrounded by dense human inhabitation. Or these could simply be isolated events. 

A team of scientists in India set out to test this. Only this time, they used material that was more easily available than camera-trap images, material that, like a tiger's unique stripe pattern, has its own unique signature. The material was tiger scat, and the signature was DNA. 

Between 2009 and 2010, the researchers walked dirt roads and trails inside six parks across Central India, collecting every fresh tiger dropping they encountered. These scats, they knew, could be a source of myriad information. Fresh droppings contain cells from the intestinal linings of animals, from which scientists have learned to isolate and purify DNA. This DNA can then go on to reveal some very interesting stories, like it did for this team of researchers. 

“The important thing about this paper is that it’s the first time that the impacts of landscape have been explicitly evaluated in the context of connectivity in tigers,” Uma Ramakrishnan, part of the team and a population geneticist at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) in Bangalore, told mongabay.com. 

Ramakrishnan and her team, in their recent study published in PLoS ONE, chose the Central Indian landscape to answer their questions - were tiger populations connected to each other? And if yes, then what landscape factors were likely to affect this connectivity? 

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Tiger scat and scrape mark. Photo credit: Aditya Joshi 

“This landscape has a matrix of protected areas of varying sizes and tiger populations, forest fragments, forest corridors and multiple land-use areas including human settlements,” said Aditya Joshi, lead author of the study, and a graduate of the Wildlife Biology and Conservation Program at NCBS. “This provided a good setup to test our objectives.” 

The six protected areas they selected within this landscape are prime tiger habitats. They include Melghat Tiger Reserve (MTR), Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR), Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary (NGWLS) and Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in the state of Maharashtra, Kanha Tiger Reserve (KTR) in the state of Madhya Pradesh, and Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR) in the state of Andhra Pradesh. 

Back at their lab in Bangalore, the researchers screened 96 scat samples they had collected for tiger-specific signatures, yielding 48 samples that truly belonged to tigers. 

From the genetic profile of these 48 DNA samples, they identified 33 individual animals. They added additional samples from 22 others they had collected within the same landscape during previous studies, resulting in a DNA pool of 55 tigers. 

Next, the researchers conducted genetic tests to see if any of these tigers were migrants. These tests would tell them if these big cats had indeed moved between the parks through human-dominated landscapes within the last generation. They were amazed by the results. 

*This image is copyright of its original author

Tiger pugmark encountered during field work by Aditya Joshi. Photo credit: Aditya Joshi 

Not only did they detect migrant tigers between reserves in close proximity to one another, but they found that migration had occurred between reserves that were separated by more than 690 kilometers (430 miles). 

Of the ten potential migrants that their tests detected, 70 percent of the dispersers either came from or went to Kanha Tiger Reserve (KTR), the park with the highest prey and tiger density among their study sites. The authors note in their paper that this could suggest “populations with high density will participate more actively in maintaining connectivity.” 

Similarly, the movement of tigers from a park like Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR), which has low prey density, to KTR could indicate that tigers perhaps are seeking out better habitats. 

“It is pretty amazing to see that populations that seem so far away are still connected, and that we were able to discern impacts of human footprints on the landscape on connectivity,” said Ramakrishnan. 

Sandeep Sharma, a postdoctoral research associate at Clemson University, feels that the findings of this study are similar to those from his research that also took place in Central India. 

“It’s not surprising that these tiger populations are still connected,” Sharma said. “In our study we found connectivity in this landscape not only for tigers but for leopards too, and this connectivity has maintained historical rates of gene flow.” 

But there was an inconsistency in their results. One protected area, Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), located in the middle of the six-park matrix, seemed untouched by tiger migration. It showed no immigrants or emigrants. 

“It is difficult to appreciate the lack of connectivity with TATR, which in fact is relatively close to MTR, PTR, KTR and NGWLS,” said Sisinthy Shivaji, a scientist at Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad, who has looked at connectivity of tiger populations in northwestern India. “At the same time there is connectivity between NSTR and MTR, PTR, KTR and NGWLS despite the longer distance of physical separation.” 

Joshi’s team attributes in part this lack of connectivity in TATR to the fact that other protected areas nearby were not sampled. 

*This image is copyright of its original author

Lead author Aditya Joshi (left) collecting a scat sample. Photo credit: Aditya Joshi 

The authors acknowledge another limitation. 

“One possible concern with our study is the relatively low sample size,” Joshi said. “But at the same time we have used 14 microsatellite loci [molecular markers in DNA that can detect splitting up of populations], which is highest among these kinds of studies on tigers.” 

“Also, most of the studies on tiger-genetics have mostly talked about tiger individuals moving in a given set of protected areas,” he added. ”Our study goes beyond that. It identifies the factors that influence tiger-connectivity which is critical for on ground conservation activities.” 

With models constructed by using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, Joshi and his team determined that high human densities and roads were detrimental to connectivity between the parks. This could mean that with increasing density of human settlements, connectivity between populations of tigers within various protected areas could worsen. 

The way out, according to the authors, is to broaden the current management strategies. These strategies must not only address tiger numbers within protected areas, they must also focus on improving the landscape and habitats between the parks. This intermediate matrix between parks is critical for connectivity between tiger populations. 

“We are working on a huge sampling effort right now, all the way from Madhya Pradesh [in central India] to Kerala [in south India],” Ramakrishnan said. “I am very excited about these efforts, and I am sure the data will be very important in further understanding tiger connectivity.” 

Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0225-dasgupta-isolated-tiger-connections.html#XBF3Rl107uDzRubz.99



RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 07-23-2014

Rahman: The lord of Dudhwa tiger reserve

Just two years ago, he was a terror, stalking Rahmankhera area just 25km from Lucknow after he strayed very close to human habitation. He was trapped, tranquilised and trans located to the Dudhwa tiger reserve after scared residents even refused to come out to vote in the assembly election. 

Today, Rahman - named after the place he took shelter in - is the lord of all he surveys in the reserve, lording over an astounding 60sq km area while, wildlife experts say, an average "tiger territory" doesn't go beyond 25sq km. 

Rahman also does not let any other tiger breach his territory in Dudhwa, which now has tigers. Officials say they stumbled on this incredible story as they tracked Rahman's movement through the radio collar fitted on him before he was released in the Dudhwa tiger reserve and went through the video recordings during the recent tiger census in the reserve, which used cameras for the first time. 

Rahman had strayed from Kheri forest when he was four years old. He has now marked this vast territory in Bilarayen range in the reserve. "Males have a bigger territory. For them, it could be about 15sq km or more. Tigresses, however, have lesser areas," says Tito Joseph from the Wildlife Protection Society of India. 

Officials say observations reveal that Rahman was restless by nature while he was in Rahmankhera. They say he has constantly been on the move, wherever he has been. The few months of monitoring immediately after he was released in the forest had found him "moving actively" in the area. For four days, in fact, he was not even tracked as he had entered the dense patch of the forest.

"He was actively searching for a territory," says an official. In Dudhwa, Rahman has been spotted by tourists the most. "The radio collar around his neck makes him look different," Dudhwa tiger reserve deputy director VK Singh says. In Rahmankhera, he had been spotted several times in the premises of the Central Institute of Subtropical Horticulture at almost all points of time in a day. 

Scientists said they had almost lost fear of the animal. All that one has to do is to climb any of the trees in the premises, recounts a scientist. Neither did he attack any human, nor did he ever deviate from its natural prey, the blue bulls which were present in large number in the area. A canal nearby made Rahmankhera's forest patch a perfect habitat for the stray feline.


RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 07-23-2014

Two more tiger cubs spotted in Sariska

The lineage of Machli, the most photographed tigress of the world, continues not just in Ranthambore, but in Sariska too. Credited with increasing the tiger population in Ranthambore through her several litters, her daughter, ST-2, is now carrying the task in Sariska Tiger Reserve. Already a mother of two daughters, ST-2 has littered once again and the newborns were spotted on Saturday.

With this, the tiger population in Sariska — where the majestic cats were once wiped out by poachers — has reached 11, much to the joy of wildlife lovers.

"ST-2 has proved to be a blessing for Sariska Tiger Reserve as she is the only tigress that littered after tigers were relocated there in 2008. Not only is this a great news for wildlife lovers in Rajasthan but the second litter by ST-2 highlights the contribution of the famous tigress Machli of Ranthambore towards the big cat population in the state. The earlier litter by ST-2 are both daughters and they will one day in turn bring forth more cubs in Sariska, carrying on the legacy of Machli," says Rajpal Singh, member of the state wildlife board.

The two cubs were caught by trap cameras in the reserve's Kali Ghati area along with their mother at around 9.02pm. Reserve officials did not rule out the possibility of more cubs in the reserve. Sariska DFO Manoj Parasar said that the cubs were spotted when they were hunting for prey with their mother.

Reserve authorities are also optimistic that another tigress ST-10 may have also have littered recently. "ST-10 has made Bijapur forest area her territory for the past couple of months. We hope that she may have also littered, but it is yet to confirmed. We have stepped up security in this region and are eagerly waiting for the good news," said the officer.



RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 07-27-2014

Man eating tigers on prowl in Madhya Pradesh

Attack on middle-aged villager by man-eating tigers triggered panic among Baiga tribals living in areas across buffer zone at Bandhavgarh National Park (BNP) in Umaria and Katni district of Madhya Pradesh.Gareeba Baiga, 49-year-old man of Umaria's Checheria village, is the latest victim of the tiger on the prowl. 

He was attacked by a tiger while grazing goats. The big cat tried to drag him to the forest, but was saved by villagers who gathered in large numbers after hearing his cries for help.Angry villagers stormed a forest office, demanding protection and compensation for families of the injured. 

They deflated tyres of all vehicles of forest department, demanded on the spot compensation and intervention of top officials. They also attacked a ranger with canes besides taking three others employees hostage. BNP officers came and requested them to watch out for the ferocious animal and avoid forests.

The tiger has been on the prowl across an area spanning some 60 miles, they said. Police arrested three people for instigating villagers against forest officials.Wildlife enthusiast Pusphendra Nath Dwivedi said the tiger must have strayed out of the park in search of prey.

"There is widespread anger among villagers," he said.Earlier, a 45-year-old man was mauled to death by three tigers in buffer zone of BNP in Katni district late on Sunday night. The dead was identified as Ramdas Baiga, a resident of Baghdhari village. He had left his home at 5.30 pm in search of a missing buffalo towards BNP's Khatoli range and did not return. 

The tigers ate him leaving behind mutilated skull.Irked villagers blocked the national highway demanding compensation for the deceased's family. Forest department announced a compensation of Rs 10,000 to family of the tribal.


RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 07-27-2014

IIT-Bombay students deploy robot to spot leopard

IIT-Bombay students on Thursday evening used a robot fixed with a camera to locate the leopard that was spotted in the metallurgical engineering and material science workshop in Powai a day earlier, but forest officials who watched the footage on a laptop were unable to detect any sign of the big cat. 
Two forest personnel were also sent into the lab in a caged trolley but to little effect .K D Thakare, deputy conservator of forest-territorial, Thane, said, "25 forest officials are trying to trap the leopard. A few onlookers spotted it late on Wednesday night and our officials heard its movements. 

A trap, with a bait of four chickens in the lab, has been unable to attract the animal, which seems to be holed up in a corner."IIT-B PRO Rashmi Uday Kumar said, "The leopard's exact location is still uncertain." Meanwhile, there were unconfirmed reports of another big cat being sighted elsewhere on the campus.

Pawan Sharma, founder of the NGO RAWW (Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare), who was present with forest officials at the Powai campus, said, "Many strategies are being planned by the forest officials to trap the animal. The remote-controlled mini-car sent in did not help. But since the leopard is a nocturnal animal, it gets active at night. He was located once on Wednesday night."

Vikas Gupta, chief conservator of forests, Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivli, said, "Animals do not understand boundaries and therefore they settle down wherever they feel that they can get a good place to hide. Probably that's why it went into the lab.

Our team is only assisting the Thane forest team, which is leading the entire operation. Tranquilizing the animal seems to be difficult for the forest officials as the exact location of the animal is not known."Forest officials said leopards generally hunt once in seven days, depending on how hungry they are, considering it is time-consuming and stressful.

The security officer on the campus issued an advisory for all residents on the second day after the leopard was sighted. It stated that rescue operations were in process by the forest department and the local police, and the residents were urged to be cautious. 

''Forest officials or security section will be bursting crackers on the campus to drive away the leopard - if it is in hiding. Campus residents are requested not to panic on hearing the sound of crackers," it said. The residents were also urged not to gather at and around S1 Bay Lab, for smooth conduct of the rescue operation.

The advisory further stated that children should not move around unaccompanied at night. And that lonely and dark stretched of roads should be avoided in the evening. ''When dogs bark or run frantically at night, it may be taken as warning of the leopard's presence nearby. 

Leopards are afraid of light and crackers bursting. Hence, it is advisable to carry a torch and flick it around while moving at night within the campus area. Pet dogs should be kept indoors at night,'' stated the mail from the security officer.


RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 07-27-2014

Elusive killer leopard caught after three months in Tamil Nadu

An elusive leopard, which had evaded capture for the past three months after killing a man and a forest guard, was caught early this morning at Thimbam forest area in the district, a senior forest official said. 

The feline had killed a man in the forest three months ago and a forest guard a few days ago. 

Traps were then laid at four places in the area and CCTVs placed at strategic points, Anwardheen, Conservator of Forests (Erode) said.

On July 21, the cameras captured the movement of the leopard and some some passengers of a bus noticed it lying near Thimbam checkpost the following day. 

After that, armed forest officials intensified the search, he said.Early this morning, the leopard entered a cage placed near the Thimbam Junction and was trapped.

Anwardheen said the captured leopard was five years old and would soon be transported to Vandalur Zoo near Chennai.


RE: Bigcats News - Pckts - 07-28-2014

Great website for current tiger populations and news.
Check it out.

RE: Bigcats News - Pckts - 07-28-2014

UPDATE : The Tala Zone update – winter 2013/14 by Kay Hassall TiwariPublicado en 12 de abril de 2014 Tala Zone has never know such disruption and chaos as it has suffered this winter.After our one eyed tigress Vijaya (Kankati) lost her two cubs last season it was thought quarrels would be settled after the monsoon but we were all were sadly mistaken.As the season started all seems serene and calm but little did anyone know. Several males roaming Wakeeta’s and Tulsi’s (Banbehi & Milchani) territories would put pay to the tigresses quiet lives and that Chakradhara would be devoid of a resident male tiger resulting in Vijaya being without new cubs still!Wakeeta’s sadness (Banbehi)
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Wakeeta in Bhitri meadow on 20th March © 2014October and November started as normal as temperatures slowly dropped. Wakeeta was spotted with her new family of four small, but now six month old cubs. Sightings were short and infrequent and the cubs appeared a little thin but they were still with their mother and all seemed well. However, it was not long before the female cub of the litter was found dead and then the weaker of the three boys. Starvation was the official report but months later a third healthy fat cub was found dead mutilated by a male tiger and sadly the fourth cub has not been seen since. It would seem marauding and dangerous males were disrupting the peace of the Banbehi mother’s territory.Pushpraj’s arroganceThe blame for these cubs has been laid squarely on the big boy Pushpraj, the cub’s very own half-brother, a large three year old male that refuses to leave his mother and father’s territory. He was always the more forceful and aloof of the brothers, a loner that often snarled at his calmer brother Kanvar. His nickname has now become Pushy! Not only has he pushed his mother about and is constantly stealing her kills but he has also had a few rounds with his father Shashi. Shashi in these bouts seems to have come off the worst and though he has tried hard to push the boy out Pushy is holding his ground and simply offers a little space climbing the hills to seek refuge while Shashi heads towards the villages and indulges in a cow kill while licking his emotional and physical wounds.
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Pushpraj – the dangerous scrounger © Satyendra THowever Pushpraj’s boldness does not end here. He has not forgotten the fact that he stole a huge sambar kill from Tulsi in Rampur last May and has persistently pestered her too. With her three young twelve month old boys in tow poor Tulsi has also had meals stolen and retreated to the depths of her territory to escape the anger of  this young tiger. For Pushy it seems hunting for himself is too much like hard work when he can have free meals and gain a hold on prime territory and hassle two females too. One is his mother and the other his aunt, but staying to fight is more preferable than running the gauntlet beyond the fencing and the unguarded and unloved forest beyond. And besides as Pushy’s muscles and influence grows moving out into unknown territory beyond his Dad and Mom’s domain is not the right choice.Shashi’s battleground with his sonPushpraj’s brother, Kanvar, is nowhere to be seen. Has he disappeared or left?. No one is certain, and honestly would be welcomed back by his brother??  The ramifications of this for his father  Shashi (Bamera male) are also tough. He has returned to his range of Banbehi and Sita Mandap recently after nursing the wounds from his son on the edge of his range.  Can he hold on?  This question will be answered soon for sure. Meanwhile as Wakeeta settles to life alone she can at least eat alone at times with no worries of finding enough for her cubs. Little is seen of her right now though she does make occasional appearances, she’s fine just bidding her time till the men get things sorted and sometimes sharing a table with her rather overbearing son.

One of many great stories from that link.

RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 07-29-2014

Big cat numbers rise in Uttar Pradesh

Tiger census 2010-11 had counted 118 tigers in Dudhwa reserve. “The final count this time might be around 125,” said PCCF (wildlife), UP, Rupak De. 

Camera traps have shown more tigers in the core area of Dudhwa tiger reserve this time. The initial estimates for two years, 2011 to 2013, have shown 72 to 80 tigers in the core area of the reserve.Tiger census 2010-11 had counted 118 tigers in Dudhwa reserve. 

"The final count this time might be around 125," said PCCF (wildlife), UP, Rupak De.The findings have been sent to the Union ministry of environment and forest for screening, said the official.Camera-trapping exercise has been done for Kishenpur wildlife sanctuary and Dudhwa national park which form core of the reserve. 

Initial findings have also come for Pilibhit forest division which is now a separate reserve.In all, 72 to 80 tigers have been counted in these areas. Once figures for Katarniaghat wildlife sanctuary, North and South kheri forest division come, tiger numbers might go up to 125. 

The improved census technique could have resulted in more tigers getting recorded in camera.It was an 'intensive' exercise as a pair of cameras was installed every 1.6 sq km of the core area. A pair of cameras was installed at 65 identified points in Kishenpur and at 206 identified points in Dudhwa national park.

The height at which cameras were mounted was also altered to record cubs, two-year old and less.About a dozen new cubs have been recorded in camera.At least 382 photographs have been downloaded from cameras installed in Kishenpur and Dudhwa national park.Many of these photographs, said officials, could be 'repetitions' which is why the photographs would be screened. 

Tiger census is on since November 15 in the reserve.UP has a major tiger population in Dudhwa tiger reserve comprising Dudhwa National Park (680 sq km), Kishenpur Sanctuary (204 sq km) and Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary (440 sq km); Pilibhit (720 sq km); North Kheri (350 sq km) and South Kheri (460 sq km).

Smaller tiger populations are present in Bijnor forests in west and Suhelwa (Gonda-Bahraich) and Sohagibarwa wildlife sanctuaries (Maharajganj) in east.


RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 07-29-2014

Reserve areas in UP not enough to contain tigers 

Check the link

RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 07-29-2014

Save the tiger: Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

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Check the link for full article

RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 07-31-2014

Shrinking green cover escalating tiger-human conflict

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More tigers in India are being forced out into human habitation because rising mining activity is reducing their habitat, leading to a spike in deadly man-animal conflict. 

Experts said that as tigers are being forced to remain in confines of protected areas, conflicts among the big cats are increasing. This has led to the "weaker" tigers moving out to human areas, resulting in increasing man-animal conflict. 

A member of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) confirmed that "the environment ministry has allowed mining in many of these green corridors despite reservations expressed by the NTCA". The NTCA member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also claimed that the Forest Advisory Committee – the statutory body to allow diversion of forest land -- formed its own committees to "over-rule the NTCA view". 

Ulhas Karanth, director of highly-respected Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said,"tigers are coming in conflict with humans in areas which were their traditional routes to move from one green landscape to another.

" Over 20 people were killed in different parts of India in the past one year by tiger which were pushed out of forest areas by stronger tigers. A tiger marks its territory of approximately 10 sq km and move out only when defeated by a stronger feline. 

The last one year has seen a man-eating tigress emerging in the buffer zone of Corbett National Park and spreading terror in Uttarakhand and neighbouring Morababad district of Uttar Pradesh killing nine persons. 

A tiger in Philibhit also entered a village killing a man. Maharashtra saw a tiger killing a villager near the Tadoba Andhari tiger reserve. Ranthambore in Rajasthan had also been in news for human-animal conflict. 

Experts say that tigers don't hunt humans unless provoked or for self-protection. As many as 80 tigers died in the country last year due to various reasons, while 41 have died so far this year. Many of the affected tiger corridors in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh now have human habitations which interfere in free movement of tigers. 

The last State of Indian Forest Report of 2013 show a decline in forest cover in wildlife corridors across India compared with previous reports. An officer said that forests inside tiger reserves may have improved but they have gone down outside due to grazing and encroachments. 

A global report released on the eve of World Tiger Day on July 29 says that if the present pace of extinction of tigers continues, the species will become extinct in the next five years.[/font]


RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 07-31-2014

Decline in tiger numbers in several Vid sanctuaries

As countries celebrate 'International Tiger Day' on Tuesday, assessment of tigers under Phase III (camera traps) in wildlife sanctuaries and national parks under Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) and Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve (NNTR) shows a minimum presence of 37 tigers. The population doesn't include cubs.

The latest figures as per camera trap estimation include 23 tigers in Pench & Mansinghdeo (439 sqkm); four in Bor & New Bor (121 sq km), four in Umred-Karhandla (189 sqkm), and six in NNTR (655 sqkm) comprising Nagzira (152 sqkm), New Nagzira (151 sqkm), Navegaon National Park (133 sqkm), Navegaon (123 sqkm) and Koka (97 sqkm).

According to forest department sources, the preliminary results are part of 2014 national tiger assessment exercise conducted every four years by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun. 

Figures from Tadoba and Melghat are still under assessment.

The only positive sign so far is from Pench, where the tiger number has gone up from 19 last year to 23. It is a wake up call for new tiger reserve Navegaon-Nagzira where the number seems to have declined despite massive increase in area.State's principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) for wildlife Sarjan Bhagat did not certify the figure of 37 in PAs under Pench and NNTR as the final report was yet to come in.Bhagat told, "Last year, as per camera traps survey, we had 101 tigers in four tiger reserves- Tadoba, Melghat, Sahyadri and Pench. 

The exercise was not carried out in non-protected areas. At present, there are 199 tigers in the state."The final results of the estimation exercise carried out in 2014 will be announced in December. As per the scientific assessment carried out in 2010, there were 69 tigers in Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) on 2,610 sqkm landscape. 

Melghat recorded 35 tigers (30-39) over 2,246 sqkm; Sahyadri 21 over 540 sqkm; Nagzira-Navegaon 20 over 765 sqkm; Bor 12 over 560 sqkm; and Pench (MP & Maharashtra) 65 over 2,547 sqkm.If the latest number of 37 tigers is considered, situation has worsened in Navegaon-Nagzira, Umred-Karhandla, Bor & New Bor. 

Even in Pench, though the situation seems better than last year, three years ago a figure of 24 tigers in the reserve alone was estimated. Now Mansinghdeo has been added to it and the number is expected to go up slowly. There are five cubs in Pench-Mansinghdeo.A figure of six tigers in 655 sq km in Navegaon-Nagzira reserve means 109 sq km per tiger (an area where at least 4-5 tigers can be accommodated).

"While Navegaon park and sanctuary have no tigers, tourists have been complaining this year that sightings in Nagzira were not so good like a couple of years ago. In 2007, there were at least 10 tigers in 152 sq km Nagzira alone.

Now there are six in 655 sq km," said Himanshu Bagde, a regular visitor to Nagzira.Similarly, in Umred-Karhandla, two years ago, officials claimed to have 20-22 tigers. However, now it looks the claims were farce or poachers have held a field day there. As Bagde added, "it is all about better protection."