Tiger population rises to 63 in AP

Amaravati: Tiger population has increased from 47 to 63 in Andhra Pradesh since the All India Tiger Estimation-2018.

The Nagarjuna Sagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR), spread over 3,727 sq km in the Nallamala Forest Range, is the main habitat for the wild cats in the state, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests N Prateep Kumar said on the occasion of Global Tiger Day on Thursday.

The number of tigers increased by two to 21 in the NSTR Block-1, by four to 21 in Block-2 and by seven to 18 in Block-3.

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In what is called the Corridor, which is the connecting area between Nallamala Hills (Kurnool, Prakasam and Guntur districts) and Seshachalam Hills (Kadapa and Chittoor districts), three new tigers have been spotted in the Phase-IV Tiger Monitoring, according to Prateep Kumar.

“Most of these areas are having hilly terrain with plateaus, ridges, gorges and deep valleys that support tropical mixed dry deciduous and moist deciduous forests, with an under growth of bamboo and a variety of grass species.

We are constructing check dams, percolation tanks and saucer pits inside the forest areas and also the fringes to ensure drinking water to the big cats,” the PCCF said, elaborating on the conservation measures.

Prateep Kumar said 63 anti-poaching camps were located in the NSTR to prevent smuggling and poaching.

The local Chenchu tribals were acting as the anti- poaching watchers under the leadership of a Forest Beat Officer.

“They are assisting us in wildlife protection and monitoring,” he added.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy released a book of photographs of all the 63 tigers in the state.

The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests explained the tiger conservation measures being taken by the Forest Department.

Forests and Environment Minister B Srinivasa Reddy and other officials attended.

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