BOKAKHAT, May 2 – Camera traps have recorded the presence of 118 tigers in Kaziranga National Park in the last three years, reports PTI.
The annual monitoring of tigers in the KNP using camera traps during 2009, 2010 and 2011 recorded a total of 118 adult, sub-adult and cubs, according to a report ‘Tigers of Kaziranga National Park’ which was released on Sunday.
The figure includes six identified tigers that died during the period of study, the report released by Assam Forest and Environment Minister Rockybul Hussain said.
The report has been published by biodiversity conservation group of the North East, Aaranyak. The results of camera trapping for the year 2011 have also been published by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (Status of Tigers in India, 2011). It was estimated that the population of tigers in the Kaziranga Tiger Reserve was 106 with a minimum of 81 and a maximum of 131. Hussain said the grasslands of Kaziranga was one of the best tiger habitats in the world. “When hope for tiger conservation is fast dimming all over the world, the forests in Assam continue to offer the best habitat for this majestic animal,” he said.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in his message said that the scientific collaboration between Aaranyak and Assam Forest Department has brought out credible scientific information on population of tigers in Assam. Gogoi also congratulated Aaranyak for its efforts of carrying out research, conservation and protection of biodiversity in the State. Aaranyak’s general secretary Dr Bibhab Talukdar said that stringent protection provided in Kaziranga for rhino conservation over the years has benefited the tiger and the population of the prey to grow.
“It is now imperative that this growing population of tigers could disperse to other suitable habitats in Assam and adjoining states to build future population of tigers in the region,” he said.
“This scenario brings to focus the need to maintain corridors for such dispersal of wild animals,” he said. Aaranyak’s senior biologist Dr M Firoz Ahmed, who led the project, said that the exercise of camera trapping in tall grassland habitat was very challenging. “The entire team has done an excellent job and the results are rewarding. Through this exercise we have also tried to train the staff of the Forest Department and make them a resource during Phase IV monitoring of tigers in Kaziranga,” he added.