LUCKNOW: Camera traps have shown more tigers in the core area of Dudhwa tiger reserve this time. The initial estimates for two years, 2011 to 2013, have shown 72 to 80 tigers in the core area of the reserve.
Tiger census 2010-11 had counted 118 tigers in Dudhwa reserve. "The final count this time might be around 125," said PCCF (wildlife), UP, Rupak De.
The findings have been sent to the Union ministry of environment and forest for screening, said the official.
Camera-trapping exercise has been done for Kishenpur wildlife sanctuary and Dudhwa national park which form core of the reserve. Initial findings have also come for Pilibhit forest division which is now a separate reserve.
In all, 72 to 80 tigers have been counted in these areas. Once figures for Katarniaghat wildlife sanctuary, North and South kheri forest division come, tiger numbers might go up to 125. The improved census technique could have resulted in more tigers getting recorded in camera.
It was an 'intensive' exercise as a pair of cameras was installed every 1.6 sq km of the core area. A pair of cameras was installed at 65 identified points in Kishenpur and at 206 identified points in Dudhwa national park.
The height at which cameras were mounted was also altered to record cubs, two-year old and less.
About a dozen new cubs have been recorded in camera.
At least 382 photographs have been downloaded from cameras installed in Kishenpur and Dudhwa national park.
Many of these photographs, said officials, could be 'repetitions' which is why the photographs would be screened. Tiger census is on since November 15 in the reserve.
UP has a major tiger population in Dudhwa tiger reserve comprising Dudhwa National Park (680 sq km), Kishenpur Sanctuary (204 sq km) and Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary (440 sq km); Pilibhit (720 sq km); North Kheri (350 sq km) and South Kheri (460 sq km).
Smaller tiger populations are present in Bijnor forests in west and Suhelwa (Gonda-Bahraich) and Sohagibarwa wildlife sanctuaries (Maharajganj) in east.