India's coal mines threaten dwindling tiger population

Greenpeace is seeking an immediate ban on new coal projects in India according to a new report that outline the threat to the country's tiger population.

India's tiger population has dwindled from tens of thousands a century ago to a mere 1,411 according to the last official census conducted in 2008.

The Times Of India quotes Greenpeace campaigner Ashish Fernandes as saying "from 2007 to 2011, the coal mine lease area and coal production capacity have nealry doubled compared to pre-2007 levels."

The Guardian reports "if India continues to depend on coal to meet its energy needs, the destruction already seen in these areas will multiply across much of central India, which has 80% of the country's coal reserves and 35% of its tigers."

This week's blackout which affected roughly half the country or some 600 million people has put coal for power generation back in the spotlight. Two-thirds of India's electricity comes from thermal coal.