Odisha has 40 tigers, 318 leopards

Bhubaneswar: The tiger census conducted by the state Forest department in February this year has revealed that there are 40 tigers and 318 leopards in eight forest circles and 46 divisions in Odisha.

Out of 40 tigers found in seven wildlife divisions, 26 were found in th Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) of Similipal Wildlife Division, three in Karanjia, three in Keonjhar, four in Sunabeda, one in Khariar, two in Satkosia and one in Sundargarh wildlife division.

Of the 40 tigers, 13 are male, 24 female and three cubs.

Apart from this, a total of 318 leopards have been spotted of which 144 are male, 154 female and 20 cubs.

During the tiger census conducted simultaneously in all forest circles and wildlife divisions except Similipal from February 5 to 10, the Forest officials had used 20,174 PIPs (Pug Impression Pads) and 448 trap cameras.

In Similipal, where the tiger census was conducted from April 17 to 30, the Forest staff had used 11,370 PIPs and 420 trap cameras.

It may be mentioned that the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), after conducting a tiger census in Similipal in 2014, had stated that the number of tigers in the state had come down over the years. According to its report, there were 45 tigers in the state in 2006 which came down to 32 in 2010 and just 28 in 2014.

But the state government did not accept the report and conducted a fresh tiger census in 46 wildlife divisions in the state from February 5 to 10 this year and in Similipal National Park from April 17 to 30.