The tiger population in Sathyamangalam forest has increased from 10 to 18 in the past two years, Conservator of Forests, Erode District, has said.

D Arun, the Conservator of Forests, said on Sunday that the recent census had shown an increase of eight tigers in the range in comparison with the 2009 figures.

Addressing a meeting organised by the Living with Nature Movement, Mr. Arun said strict vigil in the forest areas in the district had led to the increase in wildlife population.

He said the district has two forest divisions with vast forest cover: Sathyamangalam and Erode. As per the recent census, Sathyamangalam is home to 785 elephants, 564 Gaur, 212 Sambar variety deer, 309 spotted deer, 377 Black Buck deer, 127 wild boar, 19 panther and 18 tigers, he said.

Similarly, Erode forest division has 70 elephants, 20 bison, 645 spotted deer, 208 sambar variety deer and 20 panthers, he said.

Sufficient water and food were available for the wild animals inside the forest, but sometime due to migration, some elephants were entering private lands, causing damage to the crops, he said. In order to prevent such incidents, digging of trenches has already commenced in the forest areas, he added.