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Broken radio-collar of Sariska tiger replaced

Broken radio-collar of Sariska tiger replaced

July 1, 2009

New Delhi (PTI): The broken radio-collar of a tiger in Sariska has been successfully replaced with a hi-tech and light-weight gadget by a team of experts from the Wildlife Institute of India and Rajasthan forest officials.

“We executed the operation of replacing the collar successfully on Monday. Though it was raining heavily we managed to locate the wild cat after five days of intense search,” K Shankar, a WII scientist, who was the part of the team, told PTI.

The animal was tranquilized and a new radio-collar put around its neck.

Mr. Shankar said the gadget would help in keeping track of the movement of the striped animal in the Rajasthan forest, the two tigress already being radio-collared.

“This time we have used the radio-collar having in-built antenna unlike the earlier one which had external antenna and vulnerable to damages,” Mr. Shankar added.

The collars weighing around a kg was given free of cost by Canada-based firm Lotek after its previous gadget failed to function.

“As per norms, the weight of the collar is much less than 5 per cent of the body weight of the animal which is usually around 150 kgs.”

Mr. Shankar said collars were an important part of the animal recovery species plan as it would keep a track on the movement of the royal predators – two female and a male big cat and ward off the poachers.

The wild cats were shifted phase-wise since July last year from Ranthambore tiger reserves in the Northen state. Two more tigers are planned to be relocated to Sariska reserve before 2010.

The scientist explained that the collar contains transmitters that send out information in short pulses, which is picked up by a satellite, which in turn transmits the data to dedicated centres, in this case Argos centres for processing.

Relocating predators to a new habitat — a first of its kind experiment — is aimed at reviving the tiger population at Sariska which had lost all its big cats to poaching by 2004.

Taking cue from Sariska, Madhya Pradesh Government too recently translocated two tigress in Panna reserve where no big cat is left.

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/004200907011254.htm

http://bigcatrescue.org