Scientists in India are encouraged by their ongoing efforts to track the tiger population living in a sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh, close to the border with Nepal.
Seven new tigers have been identified just a week into the fourth phase of a monitoring project in Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary and Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.
Field director Shailesh Prasad, who harbours hopes tigers could be bred in the area, was delighted at the sightings.
The extent of the monitoring equipment already put in place was probably the reason for the sightings, he believes, and he expressed optimism that six to eight more tigers may be present within the 120 sq km area.
As many as 168 pairs of camera tracks have been installed at the site, with the forest department expected to acquire an additional 42 pairs in the near future.
Mr Prasad's optimism about the outcome of the fourth phase of the project has been echoed by sources at the National Tiger Conservation Authority.
Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, which covers some 400km, was established in 1976 and forms part of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.
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