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India releases tiger numbers as experts convene
Date:3/28/2011

New Delhi, India The Indian Government today released new tiger population numbers for the first time since 2007, indicating that numbers have increased in the country that has half of the world's remaining wild tigers.

The government estimated current tiger numbers in India at 1,706, up from 1,411 during the last count in 2007. However, the 1,706 figure includes an additional tiger reserve in the count, the Sundarbans, that contained 70 tigers. This area was not counted in 2007.

Therefore, when comparing the previous survey with the current one, the official estimate stands at 1,636 when leaving out the Sundarbans, or an increase of 225.

Figures were broken down by site with some populations showing increases, and others falling.

"As seen from the results, recovery requires strong protection of core tiger areas and areas that link them, as well as effective management in the surrounding areas," said Mike Baltzer, Head of WWF's Tigers Alive Initiative. "With these two vital conservation ingredients, we can not only halt their decline, but ensure tigers make a strong and lasting comeback."

The figures marked the opening of the International Tiger Conservation Conference, a three day meeting following on the heels of the groundbreaking Global Tiger Recovery Programme (GTRP), a worldwide plan to bring the species back from the brink of extinction which was forged in November 2010 at an international tiger conservation meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia organized by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

The count was conducted by India's National Tiger Conservation Authority with key partners, including WWF, in the largest tiger population survey ever undertaken.

"These numbers give us hope for the future of tigers in the wild, and that India continues to play an integral role in the tiger's recovery," said WWF International Director General Jim Leape, who is chairing a conference session on
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Contact: Ian Morrison
imorrison@wwfint.org
41-798-746-853
World Wildlife Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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