Kolkata: The number of tigers in the Sunderbans reserve forest in West Bengal has increased to 96 from the previous estimate of 88, an official said on Wednesday.
The state forest department arrived at the current figure on the basis of a census conducted between November 2019 and January 2020, he said.
At present, the number of big cats is 96 in the Sunderbans, Chief Wildlife Warden Ravi Kant Sinha told PTI.
The previous number of Royal Bengal Tigers in the mangrove forest, released in 2019, was 88, he said, adding that it was based on the big cat census in 2018.
Forest minister Rajib Bandyopadhyay said that rise in number of tigers in Sunderbans is a “welcome development”.
Among the 4,200 square km area in Sunderbans, 3,700 square km is the habitat of big cats.
“We need to increase the mangrove cover in a bid to provide for more space to tigers in coming days,” he said.
This is the first time in the history of the Sunderbans tiger census that the number of big cats shot up by eight from previous such exercise, the official said…