Odisha not happy with Tiger Census Report

Bhubaneswar: The state government on Tuesday said the All India Tiger Estimation Exercise for 2010 did not project the exact number of big cats in the country as it excluded several tiger habitats in the state.

"The total number of tigers is more than the present estimation if other places like the Sunabeda forest are taken into consideration," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters here commenting on the report released by the Ministry of Environment and Forest on Monday.

The number of tigers in the state did not decrease in the state, rather "it is stable", he said.

According to the latest census, there are only 31 tigers in Odisha.

The state`s Chief Wildlife Warden, P N Padhi said, "The state government does not accept the new tiger census report."

"We are certain that the tiger population in the state will be more than the 2010 estimation made by the Centre," Padhi said, adding that the number could be more than 45.

The chief minister, also in-charge of the Forest and Environment Department of the state, had on March 21, told the Assembly that there was no decline in the population of tigers in Similipal forests in Mayurbhanj district.

Of the 61 tigers in Similipal, 16 were males, 31 females and 14 cubs, he said.

Patnaik had said the number (61) of tigers in Similipal forest was released during a census by the state government in 2009, adopting the `pug mark` method.