A scientist from a country's premier research institute has claimed to have found symptoms of 'stress' in tigers affecting their reproduction capabilities in Madhya Pradesh's Bandhavgarh national park due to tourism related activities.
The finding may have far reaching affect on tiger tourism.
The issue was discussed during a meeting of technical committee of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) held in Delhi in March, according to the minutes of the meeting received recently in response to an RTI query filed by wildlife activist Ajay Dubey.
NTCA must conduct thorough study on this sensitive issue because conservation of tigers is more important than tourism, Dubey said.
Dr G Umapati, scientist with Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), mentioned presence of chemical substances in tigers indicating stress in big cats due to the pressure of tourism in areas of Bandhavgarh reserve.
He said this stress was affecting the big cats reproduction capabilities, as per minutes of the meeting.
He findings were, however, countered by Jitendra Agrawal, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Madhya Pradesh, and Dr Y V Jhala of Wildlife Institute of India, the minutes show. Agrawal retired from the service last month.
They (Agrawal and Jhala) said if stress was affecting the tigers' reproduction capabilities then there would have been reduction in their density (population).
This (reduction in tiger population) has not happened, hence the findings by the CCMB scientist is not correct, according to the minutes of the meeting.
There are six tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh -- Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Panna, Bori-Satpura, Sanjay-Dubri and Pench -- which have about 308 big cat, as per a central government report of 2014.
There are an estimated 2,226 tigers in India, it said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)