Tiger population has declined, says WII census

Initial results of a census conducted by Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) indicate far lesser number of tigers in India than was previously recorded. The results were presented on May 23. Data for the present census was collected from 16 of India's 28 tiger reserves and their surrounding areas. The final results will be presented in December.

"We found that the maximum loss was seen in areas outside tiger reserves. Reserves usually maintain healthy population,' says Y V Jhala of WII. "Tigers often stray into buffer areas, which need more protection,' Jhala adds.

More than 55 per cent of India's tiger population is believed to be outside reserves (2,066 out of 3,642 as per the 2001-02 census). The census said that Madhya Pradesh (MP) had 700 tigers