A tiger census in Sunderbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest, ended on Thursday during which data and scats for DNA samplings of the big cats were collected for the first time.
“The census (since March 4) went off well. Scat collection for DNA analysis of tigers in the Sunderbans was good. Direct sightings were made and data collected,” Field Director of Sunderban Tiger Reserve Subrat Mukherjee told PTI.
Thirty-five teams comprising 250 forest personnel and representatives of NGOs took part in total ecological monitoring which include tigers, co-predators, prey, habitat and human interference, Director of Sunderban Biosphere Reserve Pradeep Vyas said.
Tiger estimation in the Sundarbans, a UNESCO World Heritage, has traditionally been done by the pug mark method in which the fresh left hind imprint is collected from the field and analysed.
The pug mark method was field friendly, but due to some drawbacks, Project Tiger developed new methodology.
The last census in the Sunderbans in 2001 had put the tiger count in the mangrove forest at 274, but since it was disputed in the ISI software analysis, the 2006 census was stalled.