Tiger, tiger burning bright; population up by 750 in last 4 years
New Delhi: Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar said Monday in the Rajya Sabha that tiger population in the country has increased by 750 in the last four years to 2,976.
Earlier, the country’s tiger count was 2,226, Javadekar said during the Question Hour in the Upper House.
“Now the tiger count is 2,976. We must be proud of our whole ecological system. Tigers have increased by 750 in last four years,” Javadekar said in reply to a supplementary question.
The minister also said lions, tigers, elephants and rhinos are India’s assets and if reports of any deaths from any form of virus surfaces, special investigations are conducted to ascertain facts.
In reply to another supplementary question, the minister said the country’s Northeast has a peculiar problem of Jhum cultivation but has forest cover of over 75 per cent in all states. Jhum cultivation is the process of growing crops by first clearing the land of trees and vegetation and burning them thereafter.
About the decline of the forest cover in certain areas there, Javadekar informed that there will be a new survey of 2019-20 by the end of this month. “However, within the above 10 year period, forest cover increased by 6,788 square km between assessments 2015 and 2017 itself,” he said.
The top three states which have increased the forest cover include West Bengal, undivided Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. Javadekar pointed out that the total forest cover of the country, as per the current assessment, is 7.08 lakh sq km which is 21.54 per cent of the geographical area.
The tree cover of the country is estimated to be 93.81 sq km which is 2.85 per cent of the geogrpaphical area, added Javadekar.