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Tiger count up 30%: census

India has a total of 2,226 tigers now, with the population of tigers jumping 30% since the last count in 2010, the latest census report released here showed on Tuesday.

The union government stated that India accounts for 70% of the world’s tiger population. During the last estimate in 2010, India had 1,706 tigers, hence, there has been a rise of 30% in its population, according to the All India Tiger Estimation 2014 for 18 states. In 2010, the tiger population rose by around 21%.

“We now account for 70% of the world’s tigers and I feel proud to say that. We have world’s best managed tiger reserves and the tiger population has risen to 2,226 showing a net increase of 30% from the last count done in 2010,” environment minister Prakash Javadekar said here while releasing the report, which is the third round of independent evaluation.

According to an official statement, the increase is due to measures such as setting up of a special tiger protection force, special programme for orphan tiger cubs, efforts to control poaching and initiatives to minimize human-animal conflict and encroachment.

“We must be proud of our legacy and efforts put together which has created these large numbers. That’s a huge success story,” Javadekar added saying that his ministry will keep a constant tab of the carrying capacity of the tiger reserves.

Javadekar said that the assessment of tiger reserves has shown an overall improvement in the score of 43 tiger reserves from 65% in 2010-11 to 69% in 2014.

In the third round of country level tiger assessment, a total of 378,118 square kilometres of forest area in 18 tiger states was surveyed. Javadekar said that the country has unique photographs of 80% of the tigers (1540).

The report showed the total estimated population of tigers was around 1,945-2491 (2,226) as per 2014 report while as per the 2010 report, it was between 1,520-1909 (1,706).

The tiger population is estimated by taking the mid-value of the snapshot assessment. According to the union government, with the same methodology the population estimate stood at 1,411 in 2006 which went up to 1,706 in 2010 and in 2014, it further rose to 2,226.

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