Delay in getting tigers’ collars adds to woes
Mohana Dam Posted online: Thursday , Jun 04, 2009 at 0300 hrs
Kolkata : At a time when there is little clue about the number of Royal Bengal Tigers perished in Aila, wildlife experts are disappointed over the state of one of the most hyped projects of the state forest department, which if implemented could have substantially help the officials to track the big cats.
Almost a year after it was conceived, the project to attach radio collars on six tigers in the Sunderbans to monitor their movements, is yet to take off as the officials are still waiting for the arrival of a new set of modified radio collars. “The Wildlife Institute (WLI) in Dehradun had asked for some modifications in the instrument which was to be used as radio collars on the tigers of Sunderbans. An instrument, which would suit the environment of the mangroves, was needed since the water there is saline,” said N C Buhuguna, Director, Sunderbans Biosphere Reserve.
Though the National Tiger Conservation Authority had sanctioned Rs 50 lakh in July 2008 for radio collaring, a part of the tiger census project, the fund remains to be utilised. The fund was passed to Dehradun-based WLI, which was to form a team of scientists to carry out research work in Bengal. Many believe that if the radio collaring of tigers had been completed, it would have been easy to track them after cyclone hit the region. According to the project in-charge of WLI, Dr Jhalay, the radio collaring would start after the monsoons.