The last tiger census showed an increase of tiger population. This was heartening but the increase was not impressive by any means. More over the Madhya Pradesh Forest Minister was not happy with the state figures.
The tigers have been declining in numbers in MP. The decline is more because the census methods have been improved. They are no longer at the mercy of whims and fantasy of the park authorities. Recounting exercise carried out by the state government showed a minor increase. But this was more and ego boosting exercise rather than a serious conjecture of what is happening.
Panna was the first shocker and the falling numbers in other tigers reserve are suggestive of some major issues. What we should keep in mind is that ground situation may have gone worse. Disturbance in and around the reserves and incidence of poaching cannot be ruled out.
Hence a proactive corrective stance is needed more than the counting exercise. Tiger conservation is important if we wish to save this wonderful apex mammal. Much depends on how we perceive this importance and go all out to save the species. India still retains the largest population of the tigers in the wild. Let us get the ball rolling fetch and upswing scenario rather than the prevailing down slide.