Hyderabad: The number of tigers in Andhra Pradesh could be over 100 and their habitat is expanding, facilitating the growth of the big cats, a top Forest Department official said today.
"As per our count, it is more than 100. Of course, there is always this problem (difference in number) with our counting and the counting of wildlife activists," Hitesh Malhotra, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, told reporters here.
The peak population of tigers in the state was 141, he said.
As per the census conducted in 2010 by Wildlife Institute, 72 tigers were reported in the state, officials said, adding the figure does not include cubs.
Noting that the habitat is expanding as a tigress with two cubs and a tigress with three cubs have been spotted separately, he expressed the confidence that the big cat population would grow further.
The tiger census, to be undertaken by the State Forest Department in summer, will see `camera trap` being used and also the participation of NGOs this year, Malhotra said.