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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tiger census results by year-end

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times New Delhi, January 04, 2012 With the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) starting a new process to estimate the number of tigers in the wild, the next round of the big cat results are expected to be announced by this year end. The NTCA has asked forest departments to implement the protocol for counting tigers in core and buffer areas of 39 reserves. As per last census in 2011, India had 1,706 tigers. To ensure that the new estimate is close to the actual number, the NTCA has asked the forest departments to have GPS camera traps. The camera traps are installed to take pictures of tigers. The pictures are then compared to estimate the population in the area on basis of the stripes, which are unique to each tiger. Local forest officials will work in coordination with scientists from the Wildlife Institute of India, and monitor the camera traps daily.

Officials in a hurry to bury tiger death

January 5, 2012 DC Bandipur Tiger Reserve | Mysore District Four days after the alleged killing of a male tiger in a jaw-trap inside the Bandipur Tiger Reserve (BTR), many missing links are being established at the Reserve, even as the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTC) members are visiting the reserve to investigate the death. On Wednesday, when the Deccan Chronicle team visited the tiger reserve, it was evident that no one wanted to talk about the incident. Foresters chose to remain silent but senior officials of the forest department challenged this reporter to identify the place of the crime. "There is a death of a tiger by jaw trap. But we are unable to link the missing links which are cropping up over the last four days after media reports on the tiger’s death surfaced”, said a forest official at the tiger reserve. Sources in the forest department confirmed to Deccan Chronicle that a tiger was killed in a jaw trap and that senior officials are trying to hush up the case. “We are aware about who went to bury the carcass of the tiger and the location where the big cat was buried. We want the Forest Department to find out about the wrongdoing which is being reported inside the reserve since many months,” said a forest officer. A senior forester told this newspaper that the Forest Department was serious about jaw trapping or counting the individual deaths in the country and it could lead to problems. "We are trying to mobilise the foresters to stay on duty in wildlife areas so that more people from the forest department do not leave the posts," conservationists added. Wildlife PCCF B.K. Singh says there has been no killing of a tiger inside the Bandipur Tiger Reserve and that reports published in the media are wrong. “We have also included the foresters from Nagarhole so that there are no more jaw traps found in Bandipur. If there is such poaching of tigers and the matter is hushed up the officers will be sent home”, said Mr Singh.