Tiger census starts in Similipal with new M-STrIPES technology

KalingaTV News Network

Baripada: The National Tiger Census Authority (NTCA) kick started its tiger census work in Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) for the year 2018 here on Friday. The seven-day tiger census drive would conclude on February 22.

Informing on the drive, the Field Director of Similipal Tiger Reserve M Mohan said the STR core area has been divided into a total of 75 beats and Range officials, Foresters, Forest Guards and Protection Assistant (PA) of at least seven Forest Ranges under it have been engaged for the census. No NGO has been engaged in the work this year as it needs a prior tripartite agreement, added Mohan.

“The tiger census in the STR this year would include Similipal, Sunabeda and Satakoshia Forest Divisions and highly trained officials have been engaged in the task. While the tiger counting would primarily be held through camera trap and pug mark method, the NTCA has introduced Monitoring System for Tiger-Intensive Protection and Ecological Status or M-STrIPES for the first time to make the census error free. The M-STrIPES app developed by the Wildlife Institute of India is expected to eliminate the error which is sometimes caused by camera trapping,” said Mohan.

At least 350 cameras have been installed in the STR core and buffer zone to photograph the tigers.

As per the 2016 tiger census report, a total of 40 tigers – 13 males, 24 females and three cubs were found in Odisha. Among them the Simlipal Tiger Reserve (STR) had the highest count with 26 tigers. Four tigers were spotted at the Sunabeda Tiger Reserve while three tigers each were spotted in Karanjia and Keonjhar wildlife divisions. Two tigers each were spotted in Satkosia and Sundergarh wildlife divisions while one tiger was spotted at the Khariar Division.

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