Survey of tiger population gets under way
Kalpetta, Sunday 10 May 2009: A survey of the tiger and co-predator population began in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday. On the first day itself, four tigers were sighted.
“Three tigers were seen in Tholpetty forest range and another one in Kurichiad forest range under the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary,” V.K. Sreevalsan, wildlife warden, Wayanad Wild Life Sanctuary, told news agency. “A survey team had recorded the roar of a tiger in Sulthan Bathery Forest range too,” he added.
As many as 140 members, including forest officials, National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers of the veterinary colleges at Mannuthy and Pookode and watchers of anti-poaching camps in the sanctuary, would take part in the survey.
Two methods, direct and indirect, would be adopted. “In the first method, the team will directly collect sighting details of the animal. Each group has been provided with equipment such as Global Positioning System (GPS) to fix the exact locale of sighting, Plaster of Paris and other related instruments to collect pugmarks of the animals,” Mr. Sreevalsan said.
In the second method the teams would indirectly collect data. “In this method, we rely on pugmarks, roars, remnants of kills, hairs and scratches of tiger on the barks of trees in its home region. A tiger has its own territory. Its home range might extend to 10 to 15 sq.km. and the pug marks are usually seen on the barks of ‘Biscoficia Javanica,’ locally called ‘Neeli’ or ‘Cholavenga’, he said.
Eight night vision cameras are also being used for survey as the tiger is a nocturnal animal, he added. The survey will conclude on Monday.