WWF appoints local NGO for counting tigers in Dudhwa
TNN 9 August 2009, 04:31am IST
LUCKNOW: The tigers lurking in the periphery of Dudhwa forest will hardly get a chance to miss the census count. The World Wide Fund for nature (WWF) has doled out monetary help to a local wildlife NGO to carry out the counting of tigers hiding in sugarcane fields surrounding Dudhwa forest.
The sugarcane is standing tall in the fields and tigers are seeking shelter within the dense fields of sugarcane. Two days back a cow was killed by a tiger in a village close to Kishenpur sanctuary. “The incident is a proof that tigers are there in these fields during this season,” said a local conservationist, Jaswant Singh Kaler.
A local wildlife NGO, Terai Nature Conservation Society (TNCS), will be locating such spots outside the forest where tigers are present. “We will take little more time to finish preparing the final plan,” said V P Singh, TNCS.
The new population estimation cycle for tigers will be conducted in October, 2009 by Wildlife Institute of India. Big cats in all 28 tiger reserves of the country will be counted for their numbers. The exercise will be similar to the one taken up in 2007 which was the first tiger census done using sophisticated technology — camera trap based mark recapture process.
There was much heat over February, 2008 census when 109 tigers were shown occupying 2,766 sq km of forest area in the state. It was argued by certain sections of conservationists and also the forest department that tigers present in sugarcane fields had missed the count because camera did not capture them.
Though the work taken up by local NGO has nothing to do with WII census, it might come up with number of tigers present in the fields. Dudhwa lying in Terai belt, has dense sugarcane fields all around. Tigers have been present in these fields.
This time again, WII will be using camera trappings for tiger census in at least 10% of tiger-occupied Dudhwa forest. The tigers present in the fields might not get recorded on camera. The counting of these tigers by a local NGO might help in ascertaining the exact population of tigers.