Millennium Post

Govt to conduct tiger census in Sunderbans from February

Kolkata: The tiger census in Sunderbans is expected to begin from February this year, which may show a sharp rise in the population of big cats.
A training programme is already being conducted at Sajnekhali in Sunderbans where forest department employees are being trained on how the census should be conducted to count the number of tigers inside and outside the reserves. The last all-India census occurred in 2014, when the figure of total number of tigers stood at 2,226 straight up from 1,706 in 2010. Tiger census is conducted in India in every four years.
It is learnt that Bangladesh will join hands with their Indian counterparts to carry out the census. Four forest department officials from Bangladesh have joined the training programme started at Sajnekhali. Some private agencies will also be engaged in the census.
Three senior officials from Wild Life Institute of India have joined the 3-day long training programme to share their expertise with the forest department officials of the two countries who will jointly exercise the campaign.
According to sources, the process of counting tigers in Sunderbans would be completed within December this year. It is presumed that tiger population in India may cross 3,000 during the 2018 count. According to the sources in the state forest department, there are around 100 tigers in Sunderbans. The number may go up.
The tiger census will mainly be based on camera trapping method which identifies individual tigers from photographs based on their unique stripe patterns and the information is analysed using a particular scientific framework. Camera trapping method is carried out by teams of wildlife biologists and local forest personnel to identify the number of the tigers. Satellite telemetry is also used to track tigers whereas radio transmitters were used earlier.
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