Expressing hope that the number of tigers in the country has increased, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh today said that the census of the big cats would be made public on March 28.

“Tiger census is being released to the people...to the nation on Monday, March 28. This was the most comprehensive and scientifically conducted census exercise,” the Minister told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

“I have no inside information. I can’t promise anything. I hope we will have good news,” the Minister said when asked about the nature of revelations that will be made.

He, however, expressed hope that the tiger population in the country turns out to be more than the existing figure of 1,411 after the results of the census exercise are out.

The census was carried out by installing cameras at strategic points like water bodies in the forests, as also in respective territories of the big cats and a computer analysis was done to collate the data.

The 2007 census had shown a sharp fall in the number of tigers in ‘protected areas’ - reserves, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries - in 19 States across the country.

According to it, India had only 1,411 wild cats left in its forests.