'Govt must give up monopoly over tiger monitoring'

Quoting the report of the latest national tiger estimation exercise, he said there was an increase of 16 per cent compounded over four years, he said.

“However, since various threats faced by tigers do not appear to have diminished in the last four years, it is difficult to explain the claimed reversal in the decline of tigers,” he said.

Monitoring of tracks by forest guards was not a substitute for reliable monitoring methods. The time had now come to switch from the national estimation done once in four years and focus on intensive camera trap or DNA monitoring so that the fate of individual tigers could be tracked, he said.

For several years, the Centre for Wildlife Studies had monitored tigers rigorously in the State over an area that holds about 15 per cent of the country's tigers through camera trap method, said Karanth.

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