In what can be seen as a positive sign as far as the tiger population in Kerala is concerned, the Tiger Census data released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced that there has been a 40% increase in the population of the big cat in the jungles of the state in the past four years. As per reports, the tiger population in Kerala increased from 136 in 2014 to 190 in 2018.
According to a report in The New Indian Express (TNIE), the population of tigers in Kerala has been on a steady rise since 2006, when the state was reported to have only 46 tigers. But in 2010, the population rose to 71 and in 2014, the numbers reached 136. As per the report, a survey conducted by the Forest Department under the Tiger Monitoring Programme had concluded that there were 176 tigers in Kerala in 2016.
The tiger population in the state may have found a safe place in the forests of Wayanad wildlife sanctuary, as it has been reported that the sanctuary houses around 80 of the total tiger population in the state at the moment. BN Anjan Kumar, the Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) was quoted by TNIE to have said that, ‚ÄúThe tiger population in Wayanad has been thriving thanks to our conservation efforts. Apart from anti poaching drive, we have introduced a habitat management initiative, where invasive plant species are weeded out.
He also added that they have taken steps for the voluntary relocation of the people living in the forest area. Anjan Kumar said that the Forest department had to relocate four tigers in the last two years for straying into human settlements.
As per a report by the Times of India (ToI), PK Kesavan, the head of forest force in India, said that the numbers of tigers in the state are looking good and that the use of camera traps in tiger reserves has helped in identifying the growth in their population. ‚ÄúData shows that the number of tigers in Periyar along with Pench is on top of tiger reserves in India,‚ÄĚ he said.