Pradeep Pattanayak

Citing the success of the first tiger estimation, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife), Susanta Nanda informed on Tuesday that the Odisha government will conduct a tiger census every year. 

Addressing a press conference, Nanda said there will be a tiger census in Odisha every year. With the help of camera traps, the movements of tigers will be monitored throughout the year, he said.  

He also informed that the increasing melanistic tiger population in the Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) has emerged as a matter of concern. 

Also Read: Odisha's tiger population pegged at 30 by first state-wide estimation

“The population of melanistic tigers is increasing there (STR) which is due to inbreeding. Though it is not a sign of any threat, but to increase the genetic diversity there, we have written to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to introduce some female tigers brought from other locations,” Nanda said. 

About the presence of tigers in Satkosia, he said that there are no tigers in the said reserve. After the relocation of the hamlets inside the core area of the sanctuary, steps would be taken to release tigers there, he said. 

Notably, as per the first All Odisha Tiger Estimation (AOTE) report 2023-24 conducted by the Odisha Forest Department, there are 30 tigers and eight cubs (under less than one year) in Odisha. 

The STR has the highest number of 27 big cats and eight cubs. While 24 were camera-trapped, the rest three haven’t been camera-trapped. 
Out of the 24 tigers in the STR, there are 11 usual morph tigers (seven females and four males) and 13 pseudo melanistic tigers (seven females and six males). 

Besides the STR, Keonjhar Territorial and Keonjhar Wildlife, Paralakhemundi Territorial, and Hirakud Wildlife have one tiger each.

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