Wildlife officials hopeful
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Wildlife officials hopeful of higher tiger count at Ranthambore National Park
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Wildlife officials hopeful of higher tiger count at Ranthambore National Park

Wildlife officials at Rajasthans Ranthambore National Park have said that they are hopeful of a higher tiger count in the park.

Ranthambore (Rajasthan), May 14 : Wildlife officials at Rajasthan's Ranthambore National Park have said that they are hopeful of a higher tiger count in the park.

The officials, who were conducting a census of the tiger population in the park said, they have noticed the pug marks of 13 new cubs, which is an encouraging sign in conservation efforts.

"Since the formation of a State Empowered Committee in 2005, 13 new cubs have been identified through pug-mark analysis. This is a good sign," said Sudarshan Sharma, a forest officer at the Ranthambore National Park.

The latest census of tigers in Ranthambore is being carried out using cutting-edge technology such as camera traps and digital pugmark technology.

This year's census is being carried out at the park alongside restricted tourist visits.

The park reported a dramatic fall in its tiger population in 2005, when the number of endangered big cats fell from 46 to 26. But the authorities say the numbers were lower because of a faulty head count.

The threat of poachers looms large despite restrictions and bans imposed by the government. Officials don't deny poaching activity.

A century ago, there were some 40,000 tigers in India. Now, officials estimate there are about 3,700 although some environment groups put the number at fewer than 2,000.

Exact figures are almost impossible because of the shy nature of the big cats. The Government keeps no detailed records on poaching, most of which goes unreported anyway.

Trade in dead tigers is illegal but poachers still operate with impunity because a single animal can fetch up to 50,000 dollars in the international market.

Organs, teeth, bones and penises fetch high prices in the black market, where they are used in Chinese medicine.

ANI

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