After a gap of nearly three years Madhya Pradesh Forest Department is gearing up again to conduct the Tiger Census which will further reveal the exact number of wildcats in the state.

“The last tiger census was conducted in the year 2006 and now the forest department under the supervision of Wildlife Insitutute of India (WII) will conduct a fresh survey in the month of January 2010,” Madhya Pradesh Forest Minister, Sartaj Singh told PTI.

Nearly 25,000 forest employees will be deployed for conducting the Tiger Census which will be done by using a special camera.

The census would be conducted between January 18-23 and later its report will be sent to the WII which after analysing the data will reveal the exact number of tigers in the state, a forest official said.

The state was in news sometime back for the disappearance of tigers from the Panna Tiger Reserve where WII reported that no tiger was left in the reserve allegedly due to rampant poaching.

Later, few big cats were translocated from Kanha and Bandhavgarh Tiger reserve to Panna for reviving the tiger population there, the official said.

The department has already started a programme to train its field staff to be deployed for conducting the census.

No Tiger census was conducted in Madhya Pradesh since 2006 while it was done in Panna Tiger reserve alone in 2009 and in that counting, only two tigresses were found there and they too were brought in from other national parks.

The census conducted in 2004 was completed in 2005 and therefore no separate census was done in that year, the official said.

In 2006, census was conducted with a new method under which it was not conducted reserve wise but lanscape wise with cameras by taking into account other adjoining areas.

Since then no tiger census was conducted in the state, the official said.

As per the landscape wise census in 2006, Kanha Landscape has 89 tigers, followed by Bandhavgarh 47, Pench 33, Panna 24 and Satpuda 39.

Meanwhile, concern over dwindling tiger population in the state, the Forest Department has decided to constitute Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) for protecting big cats in Kanha, Bandhavgarh and Pench Tiger Reserves.

The STPF is being constituted under the guidelines of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

Three STPF company each will be constituted for the above three tiger reserves, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Wildlife, R S Negi said.

Each company will be commanded by an Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) with three tiger force range officers under him, he added.