Camera trap images released by the Anamalai Tiger Reserve authorities have revealed the presence of four tigers in three ranges of the sanctuary area.

Anamalai Tiger Reserve with 958 sq km is spread over six ranges in Coimbatore and Tirupur revenue districts. Ever since the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a tiger reserve, with the additional funds available, the protection and conservation measures have been stepped up by a team led by Field Director H. Basuvaraju, Deputy Director A. Thiagaraj and District Forest Officer Rajkumar.

The authorities had deployed many innovative methods to determine the presence of tigers. One of the methods was installation of camera traps at 21 strategic locations with the help of funds from Project Tiger.

The cameras were installed after understanding the movement of the territorial animal through front line uniform staff, anti-poaching watchers particularly through tiger trackers to capture the pictures of animals focusing more on carnivores especially tigers.

The camera traps were installed at Ulandy, Valparai, Manambolly and Amaravathy ranges. The cameras installed at Ulandy and Manambolly ranges had recorded tiger sightings.

In Ulandy Range, the cameras recorded presence of a tiger on March 27 and another in Varagliar beat on April 28. Similarly, in Manamboly range, the cameras have recorded sightings of two tigers on April 30 in Sheikelmdui and Manamboly beats.

The images have been compared with the other especially the stripe patterns on the body and it was arrived that the tigers in all the four images were different ones, ATR officials said. Stripe patterns are normally studied as finger prints are studied with regard to human beings, they added.

Encouraged by the above results, camera traps have been relocated in different strategic locations to know the presence of tigers in these tracts in a phased manner throughout the reserve.

Officials said that ascertaining the presence of tigers would help in re-orienting the management, protection and conservation strategies.