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Tiger census report to be released in March
The Wildlife Institute of India is conducting a tiger census under National Tiger Conservation Authority, and will release the report of the tiger census by the end of March 2011.

The report of the tiger census being carried out by the Wildlife Institute of India under the aegis of National Tiger Conservation Authority will be released by the end of March.

This was confirmed by senior scientist Qamar Qureshi of the WII, Dehradun during a conversation with 'The Pioneer'. Qureshi said the report would be released by the end of March at Delhi and would give the figures and distribution of tigers in all the 17 states in which the census had been carried out.

When asked if the tiger population was increasing or declining, the scientist said the trends would be known only by the first week of March. "We are still mapping the distribution of tigers and will be able to analyse it only by the last week of February. In Uttar Pradesh, we are winding up the camera traps in Katarniyaghat, Dudhwa and Kishanpur. Once the mapping is over we will be in a better position to assess the trends," he said.

The scientist said that a tiger census done previously provided the baseline data for comparison. "Previously there was some anxiety about the methodology that we adopted in the previous census but this time our methodology for estimating the number of tigers is more scientific. Also, we will indicate in in our report the change in habitat of tigers in comparison to what it was in the previous census," the scientist said.

Qureshi said the main challenge they faced was in areas under Naxal control. Asked if they tried to resolve the criticism over counting of cubs, the scientist said they had not refrained from doing so. "We did not want to make the census too invasive. Natural mortality is very high when the cubs are young and so we tried to avoid counting them," he said.

Source: The Pioneer