more tigers – maybe

The Indian government had trumpeted the rise in tigers from 1,706 in 2011 to 2,226 in 2014 as a sign that state-led conservation programmes were working. “This is a proof of India’s biodiversity and how we care for mitigating climate change. This is India’s steps in the right direction, which the world will applaud,” environment minister, Prakash Javadekar, said at the time.

But the new University of Oxford paper concluded that the statistical model used by India is a poor way to accurately predict tiger numbers.

Dr Ullas Karanth, co-author and a member of India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority, said: “This study exposes fundamental statistical weaknesses in the sampling, calibration and extrapolations that are at the core of methodology used by the government to estimate India’s numbers, thus undermining their reliability.”
The Guardian, 25 Feb 2015