Tiger population increases in Kerala, India home to 70% of tigers in the world

Tiger Kerala
File photo: AFP

Thiruvananthapuram: The tiger population in Kerala's forests has recorded a slight increase, according to the state's Forest and Wildlife Department estimates.

The tiger census report conducted in 2021 will shed more light on Kerala's tiger population in the wild. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release the report in Mysuru, Karnataka, on April 9.

The 2018 census counted 190 tigers in the state. Wayanad had the highest number of tigers, 125. It has been estimated that the population of the big wild feline has increased by 6 per cent over the past five years.

While the Periyar Tiger Reserve may have 30 to 35 tigers, Parambikulam is expected to have 25 to 30 tigers.

The tiger census is conducted once every four years. Contrary to earlier practice, the census was held using only camera traps in 2021. The National Tiger Conservation Authority collected the details of other carnivorous animals, including leopards, wolves, and bears.

Will Karnataka pip Madhya Pradesh?

Tigers in Karnataka are likely to outnumber their counterparts in Madhya Pradesh. In 2018, as many as 526 tigers were counted in Madhya Pradesh, while 524 striped beasts roamed the Karnataka forests.

The tiger population in Karnataka now is likely to be between 550 and 600. India is home to 70 per cent of the total tiger population in the world.

The number of tigers in Kerala has been steadily increasing. The state had 46 tigers in 2006, which increased to 71 in 2020. It further rose to 136 and 190 in 2014 and 2018, respectively, census data revealed.

Decrease in fatal tiger attacks

Meanwhile, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change reported a dip in th number of people killed in tiger attacks. Tigers mauled 31 people to death in 2018, and 50 others in 2019. In 2022, tigers killed 44 people.

In Kerala, one person was killed in 2020. The latest death of a person was reported from Wayanad in January this year. Fatal attacks by tigers were not reported in the state in 2018 and 2019.

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