BENGALURU:THE final phase of All India Tiger Estimation 2018 will take off in September and is expected to be completed by the year end. With rains tapering off, camera trap exercise will begin soon in ‘other Wildlife/territorial Areas’. However, census has been completed in the five tiger reserves and the data sent for collation and analysis.
The important wildlife/territorial areas include - Kudremukh, Cauvery and MM Hills Wildlife Sanctuaries, Brahmagiri, Madikeri, Virajpet, parts of Mysuru and Karwar, Haliyal divisions, Bhimgad and Bannerghatta. In Bhimgad, camera trapping has already started.
Nodal officer for tiger estimation, CCF Manoj Kumar said, “Every exercise will take 60 days as cameras will have to be redeployed due to shortage from one zone to another. With 1,200 pairs of cameras, this will be done in two phases and completed in four months.”
In the census held in the five tiger reserves of Bandipur, Nagarhole, BRT, Bhadra and Kali, there has been a significant rise in the tiger numbers as also a matching increase in prey density. Further, the premier tiger reserve of Nagarhole has shown the presence of 18 tiger cubs as also many a sub adult.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests(Wildlife) C Jayaram added that annual census has already revealed an increase in numbers in tiger reserves. “This has been due to protection efforts resulting in rise in their population. All five reserves show a definite increase in numbers as per the four phased-protocol for counting. This census, four pairs of cameras are being deployed as per the requirement of placing camera traps every 2 sqkms compared to 4 sqkms earlier.”
Once the whole exercise is completed, Jayaram stressed they can come to a conclusion and come out with the exact numbers of tigers in the state. The nodal agency for the tiger census - the Wildlife Institute of India will finally be responsible for all the tabulation and collation of the data and will announce the numbers.