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Training programme for tiger reserve officials

A Correspondent
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: A three-day training programme for tiger reserve officials in the Southern region for assessing the tiger status in the country began at the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) here on Wednesday.

About 100 officials are attending the training, co-ordinated by the National Tiger Conservation Authority in association with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and the State Forest Department. Delegates from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala are being given training to prepare for the tiger census 2013-14.

Tiger monitoring is done in four phases. It includes collection of ground data using an eight-day protocol; use of remote sensing data and landscape analysis; use of camera trapping and distance sampling; and tiger reserve-level monitoring of data.

The training is given so as to make the census more accurate and analyse the reserve-level problems related to conservation efforts.

The training module has global importance since the country hosts nearly 60 per cent of the world tiger population. In Kerala, its habitat is spread over a large area as compared to the isolated habitat in the northern and Central Kerala region, said K. Sankar of Wildlife Institute of India.

Bivas Pandav, scientist, WII; H.S.Negi, Inspector General, National Tiger Conservation Authority; K.P. Ouseph, Principal Chief Conservator; K.V. Sunramanian, retired director PTR; and Sanjayankumar, deputy director PTR; are leading the training programme.

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