The 2010 tiger census, unveiled on Monday, raised some hopes for the future of the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger. Tiger population has seen a 20% increase over four years between 2006 and 2010. The All India Tiger Estimation puts the figure of tigers at 1,706. While these numbers would suggest that the previous decline in the number of tigers has been reversed, experts are not convinced. But, even if the increase in tiger population is not contested, what is worrying is the shrinking of the tiger habitat. In 2006, India's tigers occupied 93,600 square km; it is down to 72,800 square km in 2010.
Most of India's tigers live in the country's 39 existing reserves, but the survey found that more than one-quarter of the tiger population lived outside the reserves. And for the first time, the survey included the Sundarbans, the region of mangrove forests on the border of India and Bangladesh, where 70 tigers were counted.