Kerala: The Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) has decided to monitor tigers by cameras to identify animals, their home range and their stripe patterns.
The Scientific Monitoring of Tigers exercise is likely to commence at the reserve that houses about 35 tigers, in January.
“About 40 cameras in pairs of two each would be set up in four sq km grid to ‘trap´ the animals. The entire 777 square km of the reserve would be covered within four to five months time,” PTR Deputy Director, Padma Mahanti, told PTI.
17 tribals and two local youths have been trained to operate the cameras and help the forest officials in the exercise, she said.
“It would help in identifying individual tigers, their home range and stripe patterns. The cameras would be shifted every 15 days. Tribals and locals along with forest officials would monitor the activities of the animals after the traps are set,” Mahanti added.
The reports compiled would be submitted to the field directorate which in turn would be sent to the National Tiger Conservation Directorate at New Delhi for records.
Presently monitoring of tigers is done by collecting its pug marks with the help of plaster casts.
“Scratches of claw marks on trees, tiger calls, direct sighting and kills made by the animal are also recorded. All the information are passed through wireless network to the central pooling system of the PTR,” Mahanti said.