Conservation experts have called for Goa to be added to the Tiger Reserve complex in order to help India's smallest state in its efforts to conserve the wild cats.
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has submitted a report on the status of wildlife in Goa to the country's state forest department and has put forward the suggestion Goa should be included alongside the sanctuaries in Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Tiger occupancy in Goa is around 322 square kilometres and the coastal state has five wildlife sanctuaries and a national park but officials cautioned that a decision on the proposal is far from being made.
"There are so many intricacies attached to it once the Tiger Reserve is announced. We have several human settlements in wildlife sanctuaries. But the process to relocate them is far from over," a senior forest department official said.
According to a census carried out in 2010, the results of which were only very recently sent to the Goa forest department, tiger presence has been recorded in Mollem wildlife sanctuary and in forests in the Ponda and Sanguem area.
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