Fourth tiger estimation begins in A.P.

Forest personnel conducting carnivore estimation in the Nallamalla forests.

Forest personnel conducting carnivore estimation in the Nallamalla forests.  

Digital appliances being used to get accurate data

Amid optimism over an increase in the number of big cats, the fourth All-India Tiger estimation began in the Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR) on Monday.

The confidence stems from the increase in the frequency of the encounter rate in recent times, sources said.

Equipped with android phones and a new app, forest officials fanned out in the expansive Nallamala forests to collect field data for digital enumeration.

The app, Monitoring System For Tigers – Intensive Protection and Ecological Status (M-StrIPES) is being used for the first time to avoid human error involved in the traditional recording of the pugmarks and other signs, Markapur Divisional Forest Officer B. Jayachandra Reddy said.

The field data collection exercise is being done by the forest personnel now in grids of 2 sq. km. each, as against 4 sq. km. earlier, for more accuracy.

The exercise is also to enumerate the number of panthers, bears and wild dogs in the tiger landscape spread over 3,728 sq. km. including a core area of 1,251 sq. km, and a buffer zone of 1,283 sq. km, he said.

The officials hitherto have been collecting data manually in the pro forma on paper, which is prone to human errors.

Carnivore sign survey

“The new app is used for the carnivore sign survey and transect marking to record details such as pellet density, vegetation status etc.,” the DFO said. The carnivore estimation for three days will be followed by herbivore estimation for another three days till January 27 to ascertain whether the reserve has enough prey for the big cats to flourish.

“After compilation of the figures in two phases, the fourth phase of the survey of collective evidence through camera traps will be taken up in March/April,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 10:54:11 PM |

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