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Wildlife in India

  • Date Submitted: 05/22/2013 08:26 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 27.9 
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Comparing camera trap pictures of tigers
Kalyan Varma
Tiger source populations will be monitored annually using capture-recapture methods based on individual identification of tigers from camera trap data or fecal DNA.
A camera trapped tiger
Ullas Karanth/WCS
The new protocol will put India's program well ahead of any other big cat monitoring program in the world.
Will make India world leader in big cat monitoring, say scientists.

In a move welcomed widely by the conservation and scientific community, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has adopted new refined protocols for intensive annual monitoring of tiger source populations under ‘Phase IV’ of National Tiger Estimation. The new protocol is expected to lead to more robust estimates of population density, change in numbers over time and other crucial parameters such as survival and recruitment rates in key wild tiger populations. Another key feature is that it enables State Forest Departments to formally collaborate with qualified scientists to derive rigorous estimates that go beyond simple minimum numbers as planned earlier.

The refinements have been developed over the past three years by NTCA and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), with the Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS), Bangalore, playing a key supportive technical role. The process of finalising the protocol involved participation of qualified scientists and wildlife managers across the country.

Some salient points of the new intensive monitoring protocol:

Annual monitoring of tiger source populations using capture-recapture methods based on individual identification of tigers from camera trap data or fecal DNA. These protocols will work in tandem with a national tiger photographic data base repository to be developed and maintained at NTCA.
Minimum sampling area of 400 sq km at a time, with a sampling intensity of 1,000 trap nights per 100 sq km to be attained.
The annual camera trap survey to be completed in 45-60...

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