Bhubaneswar, May 18:
The number of tigers in Odisha has been estimated at 40, said a report on Wednesday.
According to the tiger estimation report of Odisha government, the state has 40 tigers against the report of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), which said there were 28 big cats in Odisha.
The estimate found there were 318 leopards in the state.
The state government rejected the estimation of NTCA, which in its All India Tiger Estimation 2014 report downgraded the number of tigers in Odisha to 28.
Odisha government conducted tiger census between February and April this year claiming the state was home to more Royal Bengal tigers.
According to the report, Similipal tiger reserve habitats 26 tigers, Kranjia division has three and Satkosia tiger reserve has two tigers.
As many as three tigers were enumerated in Keonjhar Wildlife Division, four in Sunabeda, and Khariar and Sundargarh have one each, said the report.
Three melanistic tigers were also found in Similipal, the only habitat in the world to have a source population of such dark-striped large cats, said forest and environment secretary Suresh Mohapatra.
There are 13 male, 24 female and three cubs in the state, Mohapatra added.
The tiger census was carried out in all the eight circles and 46 divisions. A total of 20,174 Pug Impression Pads (PIPs) were laid and 448 camera traps were installed to conduct the survey. (IANS)