Panaji: Goa`s Forest Department has come
across evidence about the possible presence of tiger in the
state`s forests during the recent wildlife census.
State`s Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest
Shashi Kumar said "indirect evidence" of tiger`s presence
found during the wildlife census. However, the same would be
confirmed only in the second phase.
"There is a possibility of tiger presence in state`s
forests. There is evidence of its presence which will be
confirmed through camera trapping method," he said.
Kumar`s statement assumes significance amid persistent
denials by the department to move ahead with a proposal to
declare Goa`s wildlife sanctuaries as tiger habitat.
At a recent meeting with the members of Western Ghat
Conservation Panel, environmentalists had put up a proposal to
declare Goa as a tiger reserve.
The forest department here conducted wildlife census with
the help of Dehuradun based Wildlife Institute of India (WII),
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of Wildlife Week
celebrations which began today, Kumar said the camera-trapping
method will take the visuals and indicate the number of tigers
in the forests.
Kumar said WII is yet to analyse the data collected from
Goa since it is busy with the tiger census conducted at
various wildlife sanctuaries in the country.
Meanwhile, Kumar allayed fears that Goa`s forest cover is
dwindling. "The forest cover is increasing in Goa and that is
primarily because the state has a culture to preserve, protect
and love trees," he said.