The number of tigers in Odisha has decreased to 20 from 28, according to the latest estimation report released on International Tigers Day on Saturday.
As per the report, the big cat population is continuously decreasing in the state.
According to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) that conducts the tiger census every four years, Odisha had 45 tigers in 2006, which came down to 32 in the next census in 2010. The number further came down to 28 in the next two censuses in 2014 and 2018.
Now, the latest report says the estimated population is 20 (ranging in between 17-24) compared to the previous figure of 28 (range being 26-30). However, the estimated number of tigers in Similipal Tiger Reserve has increased to 16 from the previous estimated figure of 8 in 2018.
Acting on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s direction, the state Forest Department has decided to commence the tiger estimation exercise in the state from October. The exercise will provide the updated status of the tigers in the state, a forest department official said.
India currently harbors almost 75 per cent of the world’s wild tiger population. It is home to at least 3,167 tigers, which is around 6.7 per cent higher than the estimate of last tiger census in 2018, which pegged tiger numbers at 2,967.