Telangana Forest Department officials on the occasion of International Tiger Day said that the recent trends show a steady increase in the number of tigers in the state. Telangana is one of the tiger range states in the country with a population of 26 tigers as per All India Tiger Estimation 2018. Recent trends, as seen from tiger monitoring through camera traps and collection of evidence, show a steady increase in tiger numbers. The Forest Department undertook various activities on Thursday in protected areas including tiger reserves and zoological parks to create awareness among the people for tiger conservation
A rally was conducted at the range level involving field staff, animal trackers, protection watchers, youth from local communities, and NGOs. Interactive sessions were organised by the officers at division level attended by NGOs, nature lovers, and wildlife enthusiasts wherein suggestions were received for strengthening of protection and improvement of habitat. Virtual drawing and painting competitions were conducted at the zoological parks in the state with the theme "Tiger at the top of food chain" and a nature trek of two km to five km was conducted in protected areas to create interest in conservation efforts. Participants were shown results of habitat improvement like creation of natural grasslands and water sources.
Meanwhile, the tiger population in Andhra Pradesh also rose from 47 to 63 in a year's time, as per the state Forest Department officials. "The number of tigers has increased due to the steps being taken up by the government... the count of big cats has risen to 63 from 47 compared to previous year," an official said on a programme to commemorate World Tiger Day. The presence of tigers in the state of Andhra is now spread from Nallamala to Seshachalam forests, and includes sightings as far away as in Kadapa and Chittoor districts.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who donned a specially designed cap and mask to commemorate the occasion, directed officials to continue effective measures to protect tigers. He also unveiled a poster book featuring the images of all the 63 tigers and also approved procuring vehicles for officials and employees working in the tiger reserves. Forest and Environment Minister Balineni Srinivasa Reddy, Principal Chief Conservator N Prateep Kumar, Forest and Environment Secretary Vijay Kumar and other officials were present on the occasion.
(With inputs from IANS)