BENGALURU: For the first time, a scientific document on monitoring of tigers, its prey and many other endangered species has been prepared to provide solutions to some critical questions on monitoring of animal population and recovery of wild tigers. Several leading research and conservation organisations, representing a range of technical expertise from tiger biology to mathematical statistics and modelling, have come together to provide the right answers for implementing tiger conservation solutions.
This is a culmination of four decades of research partnership between tiger biologist Ullas Karanth, Wildlife Conservation Society and James Nichols, an Emeritus statistical ecologist from the United States Geological Survey.Their collaboration, involving innovative capture-recapture statistical models, has been widely adopted by researchers to estimate population parameters not only for tigers, but many other animals. Apart from these two scientists, 32 other leading scientific experts have collaborated to produce this in depth document on advanced scientific methods to accurately track tiger and prey population.
In fact, Methods for Monitoring Tiger and Prey Populations explains additional methods that demonstrate how multiple connected populations and their distributions can be monitored.Presently, we have a meagre global wild tiger population of 4,000 compared to 96,000 or fewer at the beginning of the 20th century. The survival of tigers today depends on the ability to monitor effectiveness of conservation efforts.
According to Ullas Karanth, reliable audits of tiger conservation are essential and cannot be arrived at by simply throwing money at the situation. “Many current, expensive tiger monitoring programmes lack the necessary rigour to generate reliable results in spite of massive investments. In this book, we provide state-of-the-art methods on measuring tigers, its prey, their numbers, distribution and population dynamics and also address the issue of connectivity and adaptive management of wild tiger populations,” he said.