The post-monsoon estimation of tigers started in the Pollachi division of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) on Monday.
The exercise, Phase-I estimation of tigers that follows the eight-day protocol of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), started with an orientation programme for frontline staff at the Advanced Wildlife Management Training Centre in Attakatty.
The estimation will cover 32 forest beats under four forest ranges of the Pollachi division of ATR, namely Pollachi, Ulandi, Valparai and Manambolly. A total of 62 transect lines, two each in every forest beat, have been created for the estimation of the big cats.
From Tuesday, the frontline staff will engage in carnivore sign survey, beat level sampling, assessment of prey base, habitat and human disturbances. The census will conclude on December 12. The transect line survey will be followed by block counting.
The enumerators will use M-STrIPES (Monitoring System for Tiger-Intensive Protection and Ecological Status) ‘Ecological app’ for the exercise. The data will be submitted to the NTCA on completion of the estimation. Tiger scat samples will be collected during the exercise for DNA analysis.
ATR Field Director S. Ramasubramanian, Deputy Director of Pollachi division Bhargava Teja and Assistant Conservator of Forests V. Selvam will oversee the estimation. As per NTCA guidelines, Phase-I monitoring of tigers is done in tiger reserves two times a year, pre-monsoon and post-monsoon.