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Friday, February 17, 2012

Sariska reserve to have GPS system soon

TNN | Feb 17, 2012, 01.49AM IST JAIPUR: Tracking of tigers through radio collars at Sariska Tiger Reserve will soon become passe as the wildlife department plans to monitor the activities of tigers and other animals through global positioning system (GPS). Apart from the tigers, activities of forest guards and officials could also be monitored, too, by this system. Satellite and digital cameras would be installed in and around the reserve under the new plan. Also, every forest guard will have to prepare reports of animals and their activities and submit them daily, sources said. All such data relating to the tigers, their numbers and births of cubs would be made available online, sources added. "The data will then be sent to the range officers, who would then forward it to the district forest officer (DFO) who would finally send it to the Indian Wildlife Institute, Dehradun, to make it online," an officer said. The census of the animals would be done through four different methodologies and forest guards and officials would be able to keep a tab on poaching, etc. "Death of animals would be recorded properly," said a source. Additionally, transit line cameras would also be installed in the reserve. "Every transit line census of the big cats would be done on 5, 15 and 25 of every month," an officer said. "Earlier, it was difficult to know whether or not any guard or ranger was inside the reserve but with the GPS system their activities and movements could be tracked, for discipline purposes," RS Shekawat, field director of the reserve, said.

Tiger breeding: Panna strikes global first, Sariska fails Tiger breeding: Panna strikes global first, Sariska fails

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times New Delhi, February 16, 2012 It is a mixed bag for future of tigers. A captive bred tigress in Panna, Madhya Pradesh, has become world’s first big cat to deliver in wild but pregnancy of a relocated tigress in Sariska, Rajasthan, has failed for the second time, a setback to the breeding efforts. Panna and Sariska are India’s big cat experiment labs as both lost them due to poaching and the government re-introduced tigers from similar landscape to create a new pool. On Wednesday, Panna delivered the world’s first --- two cubs from a six-year-old captive tigress, who was orphaned six years ago and was reared in an enclosure in Kanha tiger reserve. She and her two siblings – a brother and a sister --- were trained for hunting in the enclosure. After a positive report from Dehradun based Wildlife Institute of India (WII), the tigresses were shifted to Panna in March 2011 and the brother, who was injured, to Van Vihar, Bhopal. “The tigress has been spotted with two cubs after mating with a wild tiger,” said R S Murthy, field director of Panna Tiger Reserve that had no tigers in 2009. In all seven tigers have been relocated to Panna. Since the two tigresses landed, there was around the clock monitoring through Global Positioning System (GPS). In September 2011, the elder tigress, which created history, lost the radio collar and since then she was being monitored manually. The forest guards were able to spot and record the presence of two cubs with the mother on Wednesday. “It is for first time captive bred tigress has adapted completely to wild conditions,” Murthy said. But, the said news is that her sister had been badly injured in a brawl with another tiger. “She will take four to five days to recover,” he said, adding that she was slow in adapting to wild conditions unlike her elder sister. That has not happened in Sariska, which lost all tigers in 2004. A tiger and two tigresses were shifted from Rathambore and only one tigress had conceived twice. “She has again lost her baby,” an official of National Tiger Conservation Authority said, adding that the Wildlife Institute of India has been asked to investigate the reasons for repeated abortions. However, officials said the high human presence in Sariska was causing problems for the big cats there.