Tiger census to begin in KMTR from Monday

Annual estimation of tigers in Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve here will begin on January 24.

Frontline staff including foresters, forest guards, forest watchers and anti poaching watchers would be involved in the eight-day exercise.For the first time, Ecological Andriod app, developed by Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, will be used by the enumerators in the first tiger reserve of Tamil Nadu, said Conservator of Forests and KMTR Field Director N. Senthil Kumar.

The app will eliminate human errors in tiger estimation and provide more accuracy in data collection.The enumerators in different teams would stay in the anti-poaching camps of all the 50 beats in the reserve for eight days.

This exercise will also be part of the phase I and III of the once-in-four-year country-level assessment of tigers, co-predators, prey and their habitat.This will be the 5th cycle of All-India Tiger estimation.

The enumerators will go deep inside the forests and intensively search the areas for direct and indirect evidence of tiger, co-predators like leopards, dholes and sloth bear along with mega herbivores like elephants and gaurs.

A minimum of 15 km per beat in three different trails will be walked for data collection.

Prey abundance data will be collected in two km line transect in each beat for three consecutive days.

In-line transect data will be collected using the simplest method of visual encounters of prey animals like sambar, chital, wild pig. Vegetation parameters like trees, shrubs, herbs, grass and weeds and human disturbances recorded in transect are very much essential to quantify and justify the presence or absence of prey species in a beat.

Mr. Senthil Kumar said that the probability of visual encounters of prey animals is not the same across the tiger reserve since the areas are characterised with varied vegetation and terrain types. Under such circumstances, pellet count aids in assessment of prey presence in the beat.

The data generated would provide good inference regarding current tiger status and co-predators, population trends, habitat, and prey status with a high level of spatial resolution.

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Printable version | May 17, 2022 2:10:52 pm |