Camera-trapping Mammals in Pakke Tiger Reserve

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Photographs by Forest Department staff of Pakke Tiger Reserve.

Intensive camera trapping by state forest departments (as per Phase-IV of NTCA) to monitor tiger populations, is now being done on a yearly basis in tiger reserves across India. This was done for the first time in Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh. Here are some stunning images of fabulous mammals captured during this season’s monitoring exercise. This effort has been mainly undertaken by the forest department staff of Pakke … Read More

Q: Are the number of tigers present in India accurate? I mean other than the national parks and the sanctuaries, are there no tigers left elsewhere? For example the forests of Goa, Uttar Kannada (not the Anshi-Dandeli Reserve), places like Karwar and the whole belt upto Mangalore?

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Answer from: Dr. Ullas Karanth, Director for Science-Asia, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS):

The overall tiger numbers being reported by the Government, based on the Wildlife Institute of India’s surveys once in four years, are generated from a weak methodology and hence not very robust. The complicated, ‘double-sampling’ based regression model they use is a somewhat flawed and obsolete approach. Further, the quality of their estimates of tiger densities from individual sites that feed into this model vary. There are … Read More

India Adopts a New Refined Protocol to Monitor Tigers

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Will make India world leader in big cat monitoring, say scientists.

In a move welcomed widely by the conservation and scientific community, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has adopted new refined protocols for intensive annual monitoring of tiger source populations under ‘Phase IV’ of National Tiger Estimation. The new protocol is expected to lead to more robust estimates of population density, change in numbers over time and other crucial parameters such as survival and recruitment rates in key wild … Read More

Joint Camera Trapping Between India And Bhutan Reveals 14 Tigers

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Reports from a joint camera trapping exercise in Manas were discussed between park officials of the the two countries — Manas National Park in India and the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan. Fourteen tigers have been captured in the camera traps that scanned 650 sq km of protected area. Four tigers were “common”, ie. they were spotted in both countries. Seven tigers were male and six female, with the gender of one being difficult to ascertain. Officials from WWF … Read More

Annual Tiger Census to Start in Arunachal Pradesh this Month

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The annual tiger census in Arunachal Pradesh will be conducted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) this month. The tiger numbers in Namdapha and Pakke, the two tiger reserves in Arunachal, would be determined using scientific methods and reputed NGOs are to be involved in the process. The NTCA will provide all the equipment necessary as well as the training required for the field staff. Camera traps are to be placed at a distance of 1 km for 35 … Read More

Yearly Tiger Census in Sunderbans

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Phase IV of the tiger estimation exercise will see Sunderbans gaining more sample sites and also yearly estimation of tigers. Currently, camera traps have been laid in only 100 sq kms. In the new format, three more sites covering upper, lower and middle Sundarbans have been suggested and the new protocol will use 25 pairs of double sided cameras per 100 square kilometres and a minimum trapping effort of 1000 trap nights per 100 sq km. Distance sampling protocols may … Read More

Melghat Tiger Reserve Staging a Turnaround

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Melghat tiger reserve is staging a turnaround of sorts, with various improvements and better wildlife health across the reserve. For one, camera traps have recorded the presence of six new tiger cubs. The reserve’s field director, A.K.Mishra estimates the tiger numbers to go up to 50-55 with the new additions. He attributes the success to better protection and group patrolling, awareness amongst villagers and imposing curbs on grazing. 500 cattle have been seized and cases filed against illicit grazers. Forest … Read More

Steady Decline in Tiger’s Habitat Goes Against Tiger Estimation Report Conclusions

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Tiger habitat in the country has been steadily declining in India. Between 2006 to 2010 the country has lost 20,000 sq km of tiger habitat bringing the area down to 72,800 sq km. Close to 30% of the population is outside tiger reserves and there is no real strategy to deal with the situation. The fragmented habitats and shrinking corridors between protected areas mean that young tigers have no room to disperse and create new territories. There are some bright … Read More

Camera Trap Images of Tigers in Andhra Tiger Reserve Point to Recovery

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Camera traps in the Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR) in Andhra Pradesh have captured images of a tigress and her three tiger cubs feeding on a kill. The camera trap sequences provide evidence of breeding tigers and boosts conservationists hopes of a recovery in this large landscape. The India Tiger Estimate 2010 released by the Ministry of Environment and Forests last year records that the forests of Andhra Pradesh had a decline in the population of tigers. NSTR has an area … Read More

Pressure on Government to Adopt More Comprehensive Tiger Estimation Methodology

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Ullas Karanth and seven other top wildlife experts said that Jairam Ramesh’s announcement of an increase in tiger numbers from the national tiger estimation exercise, was based on unreliable data. The letter, published in Science magazine, added pressure on the government to adopt a more comprehensive counting methodology. Ullas Karanth is a member of the ministry’s National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). Though Jairam Ramesh had hit back at Ullas Karanth’s letter, on the same day he approved a new scientific … Read More

MOEF Press Brief — Annual Intensive Tiger Monitoring Will Kickoff in November

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The annual tiger monitoring exercise will kickoff in November and will include Simlipal and Satakosia. The MoEF has made this announcement following a three day workshop where experts deliberated on the Best Management Practices in Tiger Conservation. The November census is titled Phase IV of the National Tiger Estimation Programme. The annual monitoring will be done by the respective Chief Wildlife Wardens of the reserves. The methodology will be determined by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and NTCA. Simlipal, … Read More

Assamese conservationist Firoz Ahmed wins prestigious award

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M Firoz Ahmed, a Wildlife Biologist working with Aaranyak in Assam, has been awarded the prestigious Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Award 2011.

Firoz is currently conducting research on tigers, prey animals and their habitats in Orang, Manas and Kaziranga National Parks supported by the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. He is also involved in community-based conservation of wildlife in Assam and is a passionate environment educator.

The Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Award is given annually to wildlife conservationists, researchers and managers … Read More

Review of the Tiger Task Force report, 2005 — Joining the Dots but Losing the Cats?

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After the Sariska catastrophe, and the resultant public outcry, the Prime Minister appointed a Tiger Task Force (TTF) to review the status of the species. The TTF submitted a 206-page report titled Joining the Dots in August 2005. Dr Ullas Karanth reviews the TTF report.

Maintaining ‘inviolate’ areas for wild tiger populations

The TTF recognizes that viable breeding populations of wild tigers need sufficient habitats free of incompatible human uses. It projects an area of 37,000 sq km, within boundaries … Read More

National Geographic Newswatch: Dr. Ullas Karanth shares his views on India’s latest Tiger Census

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Dr. Stuart Pimm, a Conservation Biologist from Duke University, North Carolina shares details about his time spent with Dr. Ullas Karanth in Nagarhole National Park, India. The article provides insights into Dr. Ullas Karanth’s crtical views on India’s latest Tiger Census results. Dr. Karanth summarizes that it is high time that the four year national estimation be changed to an annual exercise based on DNA analysis and camera trapping. He also calls for an end to the Government’s monopoly over … Read More

Why the ‘Pugmark Census’ Used to Monitor Tiger Populations Failed

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In 2003, some highly respected conservationists got together to write a paper for an international journal, in which they laid bare the loopholes in the pugmark method of counting tigers in India. Shortly thereafter, in an extraordinary sequence of events, newer and more advanced methods were used to assess the tiger population, which resulted in the shocking denouement that there were only about 1411 tigers in India. Read on to discover how the scientists rated the old ‘pugmark census’.

The … Read More

Nationwide tiger census in January 2010

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The much awaited tiger census will begin on January 22, 2010, and experts are optimistic that the government’s conservation methods after the last census’ shocking figures, should have helped protect the cats.

A regional training was held from November 10 to 12 at the Bandipur tiger reserve for forest officials. Now, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in coordination with the central government, various state forest departments and Project Tiger will undertake a detailed study of 17 states.

Speaking to … Read More