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On Tiger Day, big cats roar in Karnataka forests

 Housing the second-largest tiger population in the country, Karnataka celebrated the 'International Tiger Day' with a pledge to protect the majestic big cat and conserve its habitat, an official said on Wednesday.

"According to the latest census, Karnataka has 524 tigers since 2018 as against 406 in 2014, 300 in 2010, and 290 in 2000. Though the growth in the first millennial decade was 3.4 per cent (2000-2010), it grew 35 per cent by 2014 and 29 per cent by 2018," the conservation official told IANS here.

As per the findings in the "Status of Tiger Co-predators and Prey in India' report, Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar released in New Delhi on Tuesday, Madhya Pradesh in central India has 526 big cats, up from 308 in 2014, 257 in 2010. and 300 in 2010.

Of the estimated 3,900 tigers the world over, India accounts for 2,967 or 76 per cent of them.

"Karnataka is a land of rich biodiversity, with national parks and tiger reserves. We are a proud home to the second largest tiger population in the country," said Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on the occasion.

The largest contiguous tiger population in the world of 724 tigers is in the rich biodiverse Western Ghats spanning Nagarhole-Bandipur-Biligiri Hills forests in Karnataka, Wayanad in Kerala, and Mudumalai-Satyamangalam in Tamil Nadu.

The second largest population of 604 tigers is across Uttarakhand and Rajaji-Corbett-Ramnagar-Pilibhit-Dudhwa forest range in western Uttar Pradesh.

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