Number of Big Cats at Sunderbans Exceeds Official Records

Number of Big Cats at Sunderbans Exceeds Official Records

As per reports, the number of tigers at Sunderbans exceeds the official records. A recent study by the WWF-India and the West Bengal forest department asserted that there are about 77 tigers present in the mangroves.

Earlier, the number was affirmed to be 64 by the national tiger census in 2011. The cameras setup by the researchers showed about 57 big cats in the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve (STR) region while another 20 of them were found in tiger reserve last year.

Soumitra Dasgupta, the STR Field Director, said there are 27, 17 and 13 tigers respectively in the National Park East, Sajnekhali and Basirhat. These are the three main ranges covered under the STR area. However, the number doesn't include the animals inhabiting the National Park West range.

The current study by the Wildlife Institute of India covers the National Park West range as well. Therefore, it is expected that the number of big cats in the mangroves will exceed the official estimates when the final report comes out.

"I haven't yet received the report, but whatever the figures are, it's a minimum estimation and there can be more tigers", said NC Bahuguna, Chief Wildlife Warden. Joydip Kundu, State Wildlife Advisory Board Member, suggested that there was further need to strengthen the conservation efforts.

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