A whopping sum of Rs. 2,774.699 lakh was spent between 2007 and 2009 for tiger conservation in Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR), but the big cat population declined and came to a naught in the reserve by 2009.
The tiger population declined to an estimated number of 15 to 32 in 2006 in the reserve. In 2007, the tiger population was 35 in PTR, the document acquired under the RTI Act by Ajay Dubey, secretary of Prayatna Environment Action Group, said.
The tiger census, carried out by Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehra Dun in 2006, found that there were 15 to 32 tigers in the reserve. WII carried the tiger census with the help of camera trap method, the document said.
Following reports of the Panna being bereft of tiger population in 2009, the WII again carried a camera trap census. Following that, in April 2009, the special investigation team of the Centre declared that there was no tiger in the reserve, the document said.
Before 2006, the tiger census were carried out by pug mark methodology annually and according to it there were 25, 28, 31, 33, 33, 34 and 35 tigers in Panna in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 respectively, the documents said.
Meanwhile, a tigress out of the two translocated tigers has given birth to three cubs in Panna.
After Panna became devoid of big cat population, two tigresses, one from Bandhavgarh and another from Kanha, besides a male tiger from Pench, were shifted to Panna to revive the tiger population.