Lucknow: Trained security personnel equipped with sophisticated weapons will soon be seen guarding tigers in Uttar Pradesh as the state government is all set to form a a special Tiger Protection Force to protect the big cats.
"We are in the process of setting up a special protection force, which will be in addition to existing security staff including forest guards," Chief Forest Conservator B K Patnaik
The exercise has been launched at the behest of the Union Environment and Forest Ministry.
According to a census carried out by the state in 2005 there were 164 tigers in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, spread over 1362 square kilometre area which includes three regions Dudhwa and Kishanpur in Lakhimpur district and Katarniya Ghat in Bahraich district.
"As per the 2005 census report carried out on viedography method, there were 77 tigers in Dudhwa and 29 in Kishanpur regions, whereas 58 tigers were sighted in Katarniyaghat
area," deputy filed director of Dudhwa National Park P P Singh said.
Data complied by Project Tiger indicated that the population of big cats had declined drastically in the state in the last two decades.
While in 1989, the estimated population of tigers was 735, it reduced to only 284 in 2001-2002.