Advertisement

  • News
  • Columns
  • Interviews
  • BW Communities
  • Events
  • BW TV
  • Subscribe to Print
  • Editorial Calendar 19-20
BW Businessworld

India's tiger census sets Guinness record for being largest camera trap wildlife survey

India's tiger census sets Guinness record for being largest camera trap wildlife survey

Photo Credit :

New Delhi [India], July 11 (ANI): India's 2018 tiger census has entered the Guinness world records for being the largest ever camera trap wildlife survey.
The fourth edition of the census, which was carried out between 2018 and 2019, was "the most comprehensive to date, in terms of both resource and data amassed," the Guinness Book of World Record mentioned on its website.
Reacting to the achievement, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said India fulfilled its resolve to double tiger numbers four years before the target.
"Our census of tigers entered Guinness World Records because we have installed more cameras to monitor them as compared to other countries. Their population is nearly 70 per cent of the world's tiger population," Javadekar said.
Since 2006, the government has been conducting the census every four years led by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) with cooperation from various state forest departments and conservation NGOs.
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 121,337 square kilometre. In total, the camera traps captured 34,858,623 photographs of wildlife (76,651 of which were tigers and 51,777 were leopards; the remainder were other native fauna). From these photographs, 2,461 individual tigers (excluding cubs) were identified using stripe-pattern-recognition software.
Apart from unprecedented camera trap usage, the 2018 "Status of Tigers in India" assessment also conducted extensive foot surveys that covered 522,996 km of trails and sampled 317,958 habitat plots for vegetation and prey dung. It's estimated that the total area of forest studied was 381,200 square km and cumulatively the collection and review of data equated to some 620,795 labour-days.
The assessment was carried out over three phases, with the various datasets then combined to be extrapolated via statistical computation, which informed the final results published in the survey report.
A positive outcome of the survey was that it concluded that India's tiger population had increased by roughly one-third: from 2,226 in 2014 to 2,927 in 2018, though some have cautioned that this rise may in part reflect more comprehensive surveying as opposed to purely a population surge. Ground surveys and camera traps recorded tiger presence in 88,985 square km of forests across 20 Indian states in 2018-19. The "lion's share" of the tigers were found in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Uttarakhand. Together, these three Indian states were home to 1,492 tigers.
However, other key takeaways that still need to be improved to continue tigers' comeback include improving "corridors" between isolated pockets of tiger territory, reducing poaching and helping to build up prey numbers through habitat restoration. (ANI)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


ANI

ANI

More From The Author >>