For over five decades, K Ullas Karanth, a world-renowned conservation scientist based at the Centre for Wildlife Studies in Karnataka, has been engaged in the struggle to conserve tigers in India. Karanth pioneered radio-tracking as well as the scientific use of camera traps to study tigers in the country. He spoke to Vijay Pinjarkar about burning issues of tiger conservation:
Given tiger population is on a high, is it leading to greater man-animal conflict? Maharashtra lost 104 lives in 2022.
Man-animal conflict is a national problem. India has about 3,000 tigers, but with focussed efforts based on the science of the tiger-prey relationship, we have the potential to hold 10,000-15,000 tigers in the wild. In doing so, we will not only bring back tigers from the brink but also save countless other species that share tiger habitats. We have 3.8 lakh sq km of suitable forests but the viable breeding tiger population is concentrated only in about 50,000 sq km area.
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Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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