• Melanistic tigers have been recorded only in the Similipal Tiger Reserve in Odisha.
  • As per the 2022 cycle of the All India Tiger Estimation, 16 individuals were recorded at Similipal Tiger Reserve, out of which 10 were melanistic.
  • A Standard Operating Procedure has been issued by the NTCA for active management towards rehabilitation of tigers from source areas at the landscape level.  
  • Based on genetic composition, the Similipal Tiger Reserve has been identified as a distinct genetic cluster for conservation. 
  • Funding assistance is provided under the ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats (CSS-IDWH) to the Similipal Tiger Reserve for conservation of tigers, raising awareness on tiger & other wildlife conservation, habitat management, protection, eco-development, human resource and infrastructure development, voluntary village relocation, as per sanctioned Annual Plan of Operation of the Tiger Reserve which emanates from a statutory Tiger Conservation Plan. 
  • An extremely rare black tiger was caught on camera by an amateur photographer in Odisha. The wild cat was pictured by photographer Soumen Bajpayee in Odisha’s Similipal Tiger Reserve.
  • The tiger species known as the melanistic tiger is found only in India.
  • The species derives its name because of a gene defect, which means that their thick black stripes, with little space between them, hide the orange fur. It is believed that inbreeding results in their thick black stripes.
  • They are actually Bengal tigers but slightly smaller than them.

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