Country gets its first tiger repository

Tigers at the Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh. File photo  

The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) here will now house the country’s first repository on tigers, under its new Tiger Cell.

“We have worked with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on tiger conservation and population estimation, and in the process we have generated a huge database,” WII Director V. B. Mathur told The Hindu.

The Dehradun-based WII has about 23,000 images of tigers. “This has to be maintained and the Tiger Cell will do that,” Dr. Mathur said, adding that “if a tiger skin is recovered at a place then a properly maintained database can be used to check where the tiger might have come from.” Project clearanceThe Tiger Cell could also help with the development-conservation debate. “When a project needs environmental clearance, our spatial data can be used to overlay the project plan on our maps and check whether the project would interfere [with wildlife habitats that must not be disturbed],” Dr. Mathur said.

The Tiger Cell was inaugurated on Saturday and will be funded by the NTCA, a statutory body under the Environment Ministry.

“The Tiger Cell will assist in population assessment of tigers, law enforcement, wildlife forensics, infrastructural development and mitigation, smart patrolling and advisory role in policy formulation,” said Y.V. Jhala, a wildlife scientist at the WII who will head the Tiger Cell.

“We have been working with the Central government for a long time but this is a formal arrangement where we are institutionalising our contribution,” Dr. Jhala said.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 7:02:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/Country-gets-its-first-tiger-repository/article14555424.ece

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