As rapid economic expansion continues to shape the Asian landscape on which many species depend, time is running out for conservationists aiming to save wildlife such as tigers and leopards. Scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute have used genetic analysis to find that the natural forest corridors in India are essential to ensuring a future for these species. According to two studies recently published in two papers, these corridors are successfully connecting populations of tigers and leopards to ensure … Read More
Ranthambore’s Isolated Tigers Face Threat Of Lack Of Genetic Diversity
A recent study by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) says that Ranthambore’s tigers show a loss of genetic diversity over the years, due to the tigers being an isolated population without any genetic exchange. Ranthambore’s tigers used to take the Chambal river route to the Kuno sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. But due to the flattening of the river banks, the tigers stopped using this route for dispersal and there has been no gene flow between the two tiger populations. … Read More
Nepal to Start Fingerprinting Tigers
Nepal will start “fingerprinting” its big cats starting this fall. Under the two-year Nepal Tiger Genome Project, high tech DNA profiling will be done to create a tiger database and the census methodology will start moving away from camera trapping and assessing pugmarks. Teams will fan out to the four national parks in Parsa, Bardiya, Chitwan and Kailali districts where Nepal’s tigers are found, to collect feces. These will then be analysed in the Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal (CMDN) … Read More
Molecular Ecology Article Calls Cheetah Reintroduction Project Genetically Flawed
An article in the esteemed journal Molecular Ecology has stated that African Cheetahs are genetically very different from their Asiatic Counterpart and hence has started a debate on the government’s ambitious Rs. 300 crore Cheetah reintroduction project. The article states that “Asiatic Cheetahs are unambiguously separated from African subspecies” with divergence estimates placing the split at “32,000 to 67,000 years ago”. The Asiatic subspecies is severely threatened with only 70-110 individuals existing in Iran. However, the African subspecies is present … Read More
Using Multiple Sources of Information to Estimate Tiger Densities
In landscapes where wildlife occurs in low densities, gathering information from a single data source often does not permit accurate estimation of population densities and abundance. In such cases, using multiple data sources may allow us to overcome ecological and logistical constraints to estimate densities of elusive carnivores such as tigers. In particular, innovative spatially explicit capture-recapture modeling approaches integrate information from photographic capture-recapture and genetic data to derive more robust estimates of tiger densities in India.
Authors A. M. … Read More
Are Indian Tigers Key To Saving The Species?
A study by Samrat Mondol, Ullas Karanth and Uma Ramakrishnan confirms that India’s tigers have higher genetic variation — and are thus the most robust in terms of survival of the species. Conservation India summarizes the findings of the the study from the original scientific paper.
Wild tigers historically occurred across 30 present-day nations ranging from Armenia to Indonesia (from west to east), and the Russian Far East to the southern tip of India (north–south). The range encompassed a variety … Read More