10 year study tiger

Original source, credits text and photograph

India – Hindustan Times

10-Year Study Planned To Observe Changes In Maharashtra’s Tiger Habitat.

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With Maharashtra reporting a steady rise in its tiger population since 2006, the state forest department and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) have planned a 10-year study to understand the changes in the animal’s habitat in the state. Titled “Long term research in the state of Maharashtra”, the study will also analyse populations of sloth bears, honey badgers and wild dogs in the state.

The Rs 19 crore study was approved last week by the technical committee of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and initial grants have been released by the Maharashtra government. “We are facing a problem of more tigers in certain pockets. It is important to know their dispersal pattern to strengthen wildlife corridors and reduce man-animal conflict over an extended time frame. The main intention is to give a boost to conservation,” said Nitin Kakodkar, principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife).

Commentary

The state forest department of Indian state Maharashtra and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) have planned a 10-year study to understand the changes in the animal’s habitat in the state.

Although its motives are plausible it is unacceptable that tigers are being collared to track its whereabouts.

Not only because of security of the tiger (poacher can easily hack the frequency and thus track the tiger) but also because of animal rights.

Tigers should not be tagged or collared as it should be left alone in its own habitat. Like it is normal with people in a free world – they are also free from tags or collars.

Trillion dollar tigers

Original source, credits text and photograph

India – Mongabay

Save Tiger Reserves And Reap Trillions In Economic Benefits, Says Report.

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Making a case for the conservation of tiger reserves in India, a study has worked out the monetary value of the reserves and deduced that for every rupee invested, the returns amount to an average of Rs. 2,500 per tiger reserve. 

A latest government study that calculated the economic valuation of 10 of 50 tiger reserves of the country, reveals that for every rupee spent on their management, the reserves provided benefits ranging from lowest of Rs 346.7 to highest of Rs 7,488 within and outside the tiger reserves. Mongabay-India analysed these benefits for all the ten reserves and found that, on average, it translated to Rs 2,500 per rupee for each tiger reserve.

The study looked at tangible and intangible flow benefits that result from investment in tiger reserves, including employment generation, fishing, fodder, fuelwood, carbon sequestration, water provisioning, water purification, sediment retention/soil conservation, nutrient retention, biological control, pollination, gas regulation, climate regulation, gene pool protection, moderation of extreme events, cultural heritage, recreation, spiritual tourism and more.

Commentary

Shocking report about the immense monetary value of Indian tiger reserves!

The value – worth trillions of US dollars – shows that the Modi government can easily invest more than 1 billion US dollars extra per year into the protection of Indian tiger reserves (stopping encroachment, preventing poaching) and expanding the core and buffer zones, as well as the corridors.

 

Striped lion

When the Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP) was rolled out in 2010, it announced the exigency and intent in rather dramatic terms.

The programme, endorsed in the St Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation, was billed as the “last best hope for tigers”. Inaction could lead to extinction of the “world’s most magnificent species”, the programme’s executive summary had warned. Nine years into the ambitious programme, designed over the period between 2010 and 2022, the intent appears to have translated to a rise in the number of big cats in India, one of the 13 Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) in the GTRP.

The TRCs’ shared goal of doubling the number of tigers globally by 2022 could still be viewed as unrealistic but conservationists see in these numbers a possibility to optimise ongoing efforts — in restoring a depleted prey base, reviving habitats, building new resources for site-specific strategies and more crucially, in improving protection of forests with minimal conflict.

Y V Jhala, scientist at the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India, sees in the task for 2022 a “good target for politicians” to work toward and feels that the post-2010 thrust has, despite setbacks in some of the TRCs, had impressive returns. The senior scientist is working on the 2018 tiger census, a project that monitors the status of tigers, co-predators, prey and their habitat in India. The report is scheduled to be released by the end of July.

China tigers

China is using cutting-edge technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data to monitor endangered Amur tigers and leopards, experts said at the International Forum on Tiger and Leopard Transboundary Conservation in Harbin, Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province on Sunday.

“Infrared cameras, AI and big data have helped us improve the establishment of a database of Amur tigers and leopards,” Jiang Guangshun, a deputy director of the Natural Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA), said at the forum.

“For example, the infrared camera can detect the tiger, and then AI will help analyze the tiger species, the weight and height, which will be marked in the database.”

Jiang noted the number of Amur tigers and leopards is increasing under the protection of China.

DNA tiger 4

Every year, since 2010, July 29 is celebrated as International Tiger Day to raise awareness about tiger conservation. India is home to over half of the world’s tigers. In 2010, India reportedly had 1,706 tigers, and this number increased to 2,226 in 2014. Isn’t a 30% increase in population in just four years remarkable? However, a study by an international team of researchers questioned the techniques used to estimate tiger populations in India and the accuracy of these numbers. Instead, they proposed a new mathematical model to determine tiger numbers accurately. Numbers drive most of the efforts and funds targeted at tiger conservation.

However, numbers do not necessarily mean healthy, hearty populations that can successfully breed and thrive for years to come. An alternative approach to monitoring tigers is to identify individuals and trace their health, family lineage and population. “Data generated from individuals can be used to estimate various parameters that help us understand the ecology, behaviour and evolutionary history of the populations,” says Prof Uma Ramakrishnan from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru.

“For instance, using the data on genetic variation, we can make inferences about connectivity between populations, changes in population size over time, inbreeding, assign parentage and so on,” she explains. Scientists use molecular techniques to get deeper insights into the lives of tigers, often without harming or disturbing them.

Ramesh Pandey

The forest can be a dangerous place. Not only for the unfamiliar visitor but also for the vulnerable animals. In a tiger reserve as dense and vast as Dudhwa in Uttar Pradesh, the risk of illegal wildlife poaching is especially high.

Considering the complications of poaching and the high-risk jobs of forest officials, IFS officer Ramesh Pandey introduced a mobile application in his department to phenomenal results.

Within a year of its introduction, M-STrIPES, which stands for Monitoring System for Tigers-Intensive Protection and Ecological Status, has been instrumental in catching 200 poachers in a patrol field that covers 2,50,000 km!

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Green tiger

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Nepal tiger

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