Camera Trapping Reveals Exciting Secrets of Tiger Dispersal

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The 'problem' tiger released in Bhadra
Kaushik Mukherjee
The Forest Department decided, based on consultation with tiger scientist Dr. Ullas Karanth, to release the tiger in Bhadra Tiger Reserve, rather than hold it in perpetual captivity.

On 1-5-2011, Forest officials of the Shimoga Wildlife Division, had safely captured a male tiger that strayed into Gama village near Shikaripur. A decision was made by the Forest Department, based on consultation with WCS senior scientist and NTCA member Dr. Ullas Karanth, to release the tiger in Bhadra Tiger Reserve, rather than hold it in perpetual captivity. This decision was based on the fact that the tiger was estimated to be of dispersal age (about 3 years), healthy and injury free, and had no history of man-eating. A critical consideration was that unlike in most other such cases, a suitable release site was available. Bhadra Tiger Reserve at this point in time has rebounding prey numbers but lower than potential tiger numbers it can support, based on data collected by Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS) for over a decade. Hipla Hadlu location, in the middle of Bhadra, that is remote from human disturbances and supports high prey densities, was chosen as the best possible release site.

Download attached document to read the full report released by Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS).

Also, see NDTV’s video coverage of the tiger release.

About the author

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Dr. Ullas Karanth is Director for Science-Asia, Wildlife Conservation Society, New York.

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