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Tiger Population In Odisha Jumps To 30, CM Naveen Patnaik Commends Forest Dept

By
OB Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The first All-Odisha Tiger Estimation (AOTE) 2023-24 has established the presence of 30 big cats in the forests of the state, up from 20 reported during 2022, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced on Monday.

In a post on his X handle, the Chief Minister said the estimation showed the presence of eight cubs in Odisha forests, while Similipal Tiger Reserve is now home to 27 tigers.

“Glad to share that that the first All Odisha Tiger Estimation has established the presence of 30 tigers and 8 cubs in the forests of Odisha, up from 20 reported during 2022,” he said.

The CM also commended the Forest department for its sustained effort to create a hospitable habitat for the national animal to flourish.

The Forest department is slated to share details on the findings of the first AOTE 2023-24 on Tuesday.

 

It may be noted here that as per the All-India Tiger Estimation (AITE) 2022 released in July, 2023, the total number of tigers in Odisha’s forests has come down to 20 in 2022 from 45 in 2006 with one of its two notified tiger reserves, the Satkosia Tiger Reserve, left with none.

Between 2018 and 2022, the state registered a drop in the population of the big cat from 28 to 20 with STR as the only silver lining, which saw the number double from eight to 16 during the period.

After the All-India Estimation showed a sharp fall in the state’s wild cats population, Odisha government in October 2023 launched its own tiger census.

In order to keep a close track of its tiger population and develop appropriate management strategy, the All-Odisha Tiger Estimation (AOTE), 2023-2024 was conducted, which spanned across 47 forest divisions, aimed at much more intensive state-level tiger monitoring. A State-level field survey was conducted to look for tiger signs such as pugmarks, scrapes, scats, rakes, urine spray, vocalisation and livestock depredation.

Sites where the direct and indirect signs of tigers were found with certainty, were intensively camera-trapped to arrive at the minimum number of unique adult tigers based on their distinctive stripe pattern.

According to official sources, a total of 27 unique adult tigers were camera trapped in Odisha during the AOTE exercise, comprising 14 females and 13 males. Evidence of another 3 adult tigers were also seen in the Similipal tiger reserve, which have not been camera trapped.

With 24 adult unique tigers, Similipal Tiger Reserve currently holds the largest share of the state’s tiger population. Similipal currently holds all the adult female tigers of the state. In total, 13 adult tigers (seven females and six males) were found to be pseudo-melanistic in Similipal, and no other wild habitat in the world has pseudo-melanistic tigers. Seven cubs which were of less than 1 year also photo-captured in Similipal.

Apart from Similipal, the Hirakud Wildlife Division and Paralakhemundi Territorial Forest Division, each holds one adult male tiger. Another adult male tiger was also found to utilise Greater Similipal tiger Landscape.

OB Bureau

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