Authorities of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) have geared up to carry out phase IV of its tiger monitoring, an extended programme of three earlier phases of tiger estimation exercise, in January and February next year. However, compared earlier phases, it would be an extensive exercise lasting for 45 days, covering tiger reserve, buffer zone and tiger pockets in regular forest areas in Chandrapur circle.
Funded by NTCA, phase IV would be carried out in the areas of tiger presence under the supervision of chief wildlife warden. This annual exercise would help to re-ascertain the number of tigers in the reserve and areas around it, their breeding and dispersal pattern. Phase IV monitoring will include eight days of protocol documentation of sign survey, followed by extensive capture-recapture exercise with the help of camera traps and line transact assessment to ascertain the tiger population.
"It is 45 days long extensive monitoring programme to access of tiger population. A least three pairs of camera traps would be placed in each beat of forest area. The presence of tigers in particular area will be established by capturing images and it would be verified by recapturing the same tiger's images in camera trap during the exercise," said CCF, TATR, Vinay Sinha.
He explained that distance method would be used in transact line assessment and new lines would be made in the areas being freshly accessed for wildlife population. "Phase IV tiger monitoring would be carried out in tiger reserves, its buffer areas and tiger pockets falling in the regular forest areas around tiger reserve. NGO activist would be involved in the monitoring exercise during line transact assessment," he said.
He claimed their draft plan and modality for phase IV is ready and they intended to execute monitoring exercise in January and February next years. He however did not give the exact dates of execution of the programme. Sinha claimed that a training programme at officer level has been organized at Panna tiger reserve on December 28 and 29. Officers up to RFO level would be guided in this training programme and they would in turn train the staffers under them at local level for the phase IV tiger monitoring exercise.