Tiger census

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    6th Aug, 2019

Context

Prime Minister on Monday released the All India Tiger Estimation Report 2018

About

About

  • India has 2,967 tigers, a third more than in 2014, according to results of a tiger census
  • This gargantuan exercise is been conducted once in four years.
  • Madhya Pradesh saw the highest number of tigers, closely followed by Karnataka and Uttarakhand.
  • Chhattisgarh and Mizoram saw a decline in tiger population and all other States saw a “positive” increase.
  • This gargantuan exercise is been conducted once in four years.
  • Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of tigers; Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu registered the “maximum improvement.
  • India accounts for many of the 3,500-odd tigers that are scattered among Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russian Federation, Thailand and Vietnam.

VARIOUS METHODS USED FOR COUNTING TIGERS

  • Pug Mark Method: In this method, the foot print of the tiger is important. It is considered that each pug mark is unique in itself & by analyzing various foot prints in the areas of tigers, the number of tigers in that area can be counted.
  • Camera Trap: In this various method, cameras are installed in the tiger areas having night vision facility as well. By recording various tigers in the camera, the number of tigers can be estimated.
  • Poop/scat Method: In this method the number of tigers is counted by poop/scat. The poop is analyzed by DNA sampling and then we can arrive at a more accurate count.
  • Radio Collar Method: Tigers are captured in this method & are fitted with a radio collar. In this way the tigers can be counted.

Criticism

  • The Camera Trap estimation of tiger numbers in source populations, in tiger reserves was poorly done which was a violation of capture-recapture modeling.
  • The estimated of prey species densities from line transects were poorly done which is against the current practices.
  • The complicated, ‘double-sampling’ based regression model is somewhat flawed and obsolete approach.
  • Their statistical methodology of relying on calibrations and regressions based on track and dung surveys to generate wider estimate tiger numbers in wider landscapes was also deeply flawed.
  • Based on Enumerators Subjective Ability to Identify Individual Tigers from Pugmarks.
  • Variation in Pugmarks with substratum, gait, and observers recording skills
  • Not possible to obtain Pugmarks from all Tiger Occupied Landscapes.
  • Camera trap method becomes useless in areas having salty waters. It damages the camera.
  • Not always that someone will get the poop of all the tigers in an area.
  • In Radio Collar Method the method fails when the concerned tiger enters the salty water.

Measures to improve tiger conservation efforts in the country

  • Protect tigers and their habitat.
  • Build capacity in range states.
  • Reduce human-tiger conflict.
  • Conduct scientific research on tigers to help inform conservation strategies.
  • Promote tiger-friendly policies.
  • Monitor tiger numbers, population trends, and threats to tigers and their habitats.
  • To build more tiger reserves in India.
  • To enforce complete ban on poaching.
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