Good news from the Valmiki Tiger Reserve
October 2009: Between January 1 and August 19, 2009 at least 66 tigers have been killed in India. Around 23 of these were victims of poaching while the other 46 died from various causes ranging from tiger-human conflict, road accidents, etc. The news of two tiger cub sightings in the easternmost part of the Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar in August is therefore particularly welcome.
The last tiger cub sighting here was in March 2008. Eight cubs have been born since 2005. However, the reserve is still beset with problems. Mining is rampant in the Bhikna Thori area (proposed as part of the core critical area) and the reserve is surrounded by some 140 villages that are largely dependent on forest resources. Despite the National Tiger Conservation Authority’s directive, officials have still not notified the core critical area of Valmiki.