A ‘Tiger Foundation’ on the lines of State Zoo Authority will be formed in Tamil Nadu in the next fortnight.

Debendranath Sarangi, Principal Secretary, Environment and Forests told The Hindu on Thursday that the objective of the foundation is to streamline the functioning of Project Tiger programme.

Under the existing system all the funds provided by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests are routed through the State Government. With the formation of the foundation, all the funds would be directly deposited in the foundation account. This would facilitate easy implementation of various programmes under Project Tiger scheme without any delay.

A memorandum of understanding in this regard would be signed soon between National Tiger Conservation Association, State Secretary, Environment and Forests and the Field Director, Project Tiger area.

Tamil Nadu has three Project Tiger Reserves – Top Slip Project Tiger Reserve at Pollachi, Mudumalai Project Tiger Reserve at Udhagamandalam and Kalakkad – Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve at Tirunelveli.

While Conservator rank officers were posted as Field Directors at the Top Slip and Mudumalai Tiger reserves, the Kalakkad – Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve has a Chief Conservator rank officer. Both the Pollachi and Mudumalai Tiger Reserves were formed a couple of years ago.

Wildlife authorities stated that as per the last census conducted by the Government of India, Tamil Nadu is the only State in which the tiger population recorded an increase. As per the census nearly 76 tigers were found in the State, they added.