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South Asia to soon reach carrying capacity of tigers, southeast Asia may not be left with one: GTF

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New Delhi, Jul 29 (PTI) International conservation body Global Tiger Forum (GTF) on Monday hailed the rise in tiger tiger population in India and noted that the South Asian countries were doing well to protect the species. It, however, expressed concern over the status of wild tigers in south-east Asian countries. Tigers are almost facing extinction from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, while there have been no recent updates from China and Indonesia, according to GTF, an inter-governmental international body meant for conservation of tigers. Rajesh Gopal, Secretary General of GTF, said South Asian countries are very close to their carrying capacity of tigers and the number may not go further up. Carrying capacity is the number of animals a region can support.. "The status of wild tigers in south Asia and Russia range from sub-optimal to optimal but the situation is comparatively much better than wild tiger status in South-Est Asian countries," he said While India has 2,967 tigers, other south Asian countries also fared well with Nepal having 235 tigers in 2018 which has increased from 121 in 2009. "Nepal has the distinction of being the first tiger range country (TRC) to nearly double its tiger number (121 in 2009 to 235 in 2018) since the TX2 commitment in St Petersberg Summit in 2010. "Likewise, India has more than doubled its wild tiger number from 1,411 in 2006 to 2,967 in 2018. We congratulate and appreciate the concerted efforts of South Asia," Gopal said. As per GTF, Bangladesh has 114 tigers and Bhutan has 103 tigers. Gopal, however, expressed concern over the situation in South-East Asia and appealed to all tiger range countries to appraise it about the tiger statuses. "There is no recent update from China and Indonesia. Wild tigers are almost extinct in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. "The GTF appeals to other tiger range countries (TRCs) for time bound appraisal of wild tiger status within their country for strengthening the ongoing Global Tiger Recovery Programme (GTRP)," it said. The GTF was formed in 1993 on recommendations from an international symposium on tiger conservation in New Delhi. The first meeting of the tiger range countries to set up the forum was held in 1994, in which India was elected to the Chair and was asked to form an interim secretariat. PTI AG RT

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