No decline in tigers in Similipal forest

Bhubaneswar: There has been no decline in the population of tigers in Similipal forests in Mayurbhanj district, where their number was 61, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Monday.

Of the 61 tigers in Similipal, 16 were males, 31 females and 14 cubs, he said replying to a written question in the assembly.

Patnaik, who also holds the forest and environment departments, said the number of tigers in the forest was found during the a census by the state government in 2009 by adopting the pug mark method.

The outcome of the 2010 census conducted by the Ministry of Forest and Environment with help of Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, was not known as all the four phases associated with the head count were yet to be completed.

The economic survey of 2010-11 had, however, said there were 192 tigers and 487 leopards in the state as per the 2004 census as against 173 tigers and 457 leopards counted in 2002.

The WII census of 2006-2007 using the camera trap method had put the number of tigers between 17 and 23 besides tiger cubs in Similipal area but had not given any figure based on gender, he said.

Orissa has two notified tiger reserves – one at Similipal in Mayurbhanj district and another at Satkosia in Angul district.