Tamil Nadu

Anamalai may see a jump in tiger numbers

An image captured recently by a camera trap deployed at the Anamalai Tiger Reserve in Coimbatore district.  

The initial results of the census conducted in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR), near here, point to an increase in tiger population.

Camera traps recorded three tigresses moving with cubs. Furthermore, there was a direct sighting of a tigress with three cubs in the Valparai region. “This indicates that the tigers expand their range, possibly owing to the increased population,” Rajiv K. Srivastava, Chief Conservator of Forests and Field Director of the ATR, told The Hindu here on Monday.

“The 2013 census put the number of tigers in the ATR at 20. We expect the numbers to go up in the current census, the results of which will be known in a few months,” he said.

He attributed the possible increase to strong anti-poaching measures that included more patrolling and surveillance and efforts to improve the tiger-prey ratio.

Around 240 anti-poaching watchers, forest guards and rangers do patrols every day across the reserve which spans 958 sq. km. over the forest ranges of Ulandy, Pollachi, Manomboly and Valparai in Coimbatore district and Amaravathy and Udumalpet in Tirupur district.

Scientific measures have been adopted for habitat improvement in the tiger reserve. These include removal of the weed Lantana camara, an invasive species that stifles the growth of plants, the food for herbivores. “This will ensure a sufficient prey base, another vital factor for improving the tiger population,” he said.

The reserve has been divided into three categories — most, medium and least vulnerable — and patrolling is done accordingly. Areas closer to the human habitations are categorised as the most vulnerable where there is increased patrolling. GPS is used to monitor patrolling to ensure that all areas are covered.

Patrolling was done even when it rained. Camps had been set up in vulnerable areas and surveillance cameras installed, he said.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 6:40:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/anamalai-may-see-a-jump-in-tiger-numbers/article6259025.ece

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