Sariska Tigers Find their Radio Collars a Hindrance during Mating
Thursday 1st December 2011

After the translocation of a few tigers and tigresses to Sariska National Park from Ranthambore National Park, the Rajasthan forest department hoped for a population increase for the big cats.

While the tigers were successfully transported from one National Park to the other, the growth of the tiger population in Sariska is facing obstacles.

The tigers are tied with a radio collars around their neck in order to help the forest officials keep track of the big cat’s movements. However the 1.5 kg collars are hindering the process of their mating, with the tigers finding it difficult to mate with the heavy contraption around their necks. This has put the Rajasthan forest department into a fix.

 

Ranthambhore National Park tigress T-17, renamed Krishna after champion athlete Krishna Poonia of Rajasthan, and three other females shifted to Sariska were finding the radio collars a burden during mating. After pressure from wildlife enthusiast and environmentalists the forest officials got rid of T-17's collar last week as the device stopped sending signals about 18 months ago.

However the removal of the radio collar from the tigress further created confusion. Forest officials are confused whether it was the tigress T-17 or her sister T-19 who gave birth to three cubs about three months ago.

 

Also with the removal of the radio collars, this puts the animal’s life in danger from poachers or villagers from villages surrounding the National Park who may kill the tiger as an act of revenge due to constant man animal conflicts.

At the same time the insistence of the radio collars being banded around the tiger’s neck keeps them from mating and further procreation. Already of the three tigresses transported to Sariska National Park from Ranthambore National Park, none have been able to reproduce so far. A medical examination of the three tigresses has not shown any kind of hormonal imbalance that could affect their fertility or their ability to reproduce.

 

As an experiment, forest officials are now contemplating removing the collar of at least one tigress. Ironically, they have reportedly chosen ST-2, who is eight years old and whose collar has not been sending proper signals for quite some time.

The tigers have been shifted from Ranthambore to Sariska to revive the tiger population in the park after the entire tiger population was wiped out from Sariska National Park due to wide scale poaching a few years back.

Both Sariska National Park and Ranthambore National Park are located close to Jaipur