The tiger estimation study in non-protected areas (Pas) of territorial forests and areas under Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM) was conducted by the Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) over last four months.

As per the survey, the number of big cats in the district stands at 120, including 60 in core area and 12 in buffer area of TATR. The survey was sponsored by Chandrapur Forest department.

The study has revealed that there are 48 tigers in the non-protected areas. "They include 20 breeding tigresses, indicative of the fact that these healthy habitats can sustain the tiger population. It has again proved that stability of tiger population in TATR is due to healthy presence of other tigers in its surrounding areas," WCT team member Aditya Joshi said.    

"It is the first-of-its-kind study in the country carried out in a vast 2000 sq kms of territorial forest area outside the protected area (PA). It's equally interesting to note that the tiger density in some blocks in these areas was found to be higher than that of some tiger reserves," WCT president Anish Andhariya said on Monday.

He said the tiger density in Kanhalgaon–Central Chanda Block was found to be 2.34, which is more than that of Melghat Tiger Reserve in the state. Similarly, tiger density in Junona-Central Chanda block was found to be 1.77, which is higher than that of Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, Andhariya added.

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