NEW DELHI: The All India Tiger Estimation 2018, released last year, has entered the Guinness World Record for being the world’s largest camera trap wildlife survey. The results had shown that India now has an estimated 2,967 tigers out of which 2,461 — a whopping 83 per cent of the big cat population — have been photo-captured. According to the Guinness citation, the fourth iteration of the survey, conducted in 2018-19, was the most comprehensive to date, in terms of both resource and data amassed.
“Camera traps (outdoor photographic devices fitted with motion sensors that start recording when an animal passes by) were placed in 26,838 locations across 141 different sites and surveyed an effective area of 1,21,337 sq km. In total, the camera traps captured 34,858,623 photographs of wildlife, 76,651 of which were tigers and 51,777 were leopards; the rest were other native fauna. From these photographs, 2,461 individual tigers (excluding cubs) were identified using stripe-pattern-recognition software,” it reads.
The quadrennial tiger estimation is steered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority with technical support from the Wildlife Institute of India and implemented by state forest departments. “...India is home to nearly 75% of global tiger population and has fulfilled its resolve of doubling tiger numbers much before the target year of 2022,” said Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.