The Central government is introducing a new software to make tiger monitoring more accurate, even as the first phase of India's comprehensive tiger census showed some “encouraging trends”.

Launching the M-Stripes system – which involves GPS for field guards and software monitoring — on Wednesday, Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests said that the technology would help increase the transparency of forest surveillance.

“We know that a lot of the information today is doctored and unreliable. People claim that they have gone on patrol, but actually they are just sitting in their offices and generating data,” said Mr. Ramesh. “This system will put an end to that.”

In the past, officials had continued to report tiger sightings at the Sariska and Panna reserves, inflating official figures long after the big cats had vanished from those areas.

The government hopes the current ongoing census will be more accurate, and Mr. Ramesh said that some encouraging trends had been seen in the first phase, which covered around 3.5 lakh sq km of forests, including non-tiger reserve areas, at the beat level.

Tigers were spotted in regions that had been written off earlier, including Buxa, Nagarjuna Sagar and Indravati.

A high tiger density was also reported in the Kaziranga reserve.