“Something like this would ring alarm bells to me, what or who is causing such a decrease in the number of tigers? If there was only 23 last year, what is the current number & where have these tigers gone. Is it poachers or hunters, the numbers are declining too fast for it to be of a natural death!! Something has to be done to find out why there is a decline in numbers & get onto it ASAP before these majestic tigers have gone for good!!!”
Keshav Agarwal,TNN | Nov 26, 2014, 10.05 PM IST
PILIBHIT: Taking cognizance of the matter related to rapid decrease in number of tigers in Pilibhit Tiger Reserve in three years, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has decided to set up an enquiry in the matter.
Special secretary to the chief minister, GS Naveen Kumar, has referred the matter to the principal secretary of the forest department for taking further steps, MLA Hemraj Verma told TOI.
The issue was raised by the SP MLA from district Pilibhit, who had written to the chief minister in the third week of November. He had said that the forest department had counted more than 40 tigers in the forest area of Pilibhit district in 2010 and the figure had dwindled to 30 in 2012. The count had further declined to 23 in 2013, he had pointed out.
Retired chief wildlife warden Mohammad Ahsan welcomed the move and said special emphasis should be placed on the counting of tigers also in the adjoining Surai forest range of Uttarakhand and parts of Shahjahanpur district. This would help in determining whether the tigers of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, especially the mother big cats, have not migrated to other forest regions to find safe habitats for their cubs or in search of easy prey.
An environmentalist from Pilibhit, Parvez Hanif, said that the investigation of missing tigers in PTR would not be complete if the process of capturing foot-prints of tigers was not applied simultaneously with picture capturing method through cameras.
He observed that the method of collecting footprints of tigers, which he claimed was applicable till 2007, , can assist the investigation team reach more exact conclusions.
The vice president of Wildlife Biodiversity Conservation Society Amitabh Agnihotri said that the investigation team should find out the effects of human encroachment on the tiger population and devise ways to reduce such interference.