Tiger data base ready, to prevent poaching

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Dehradun : Taking a cue from South Africa where a database of wild elephants has been created that are being poached by hunters for their tusks,  Wildlife Institute of India (WII) under a National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) sponsored project is creating a database of the tigers in the 41 reserves of the country to prevent their being hunted.

Initially a database of 11 tiger reserves, including Corbett National Park, Ranthambore, Dudhwa and Kanha has been created and is under power test. If the tests come out successful, the process is going to be repeated to create a database for the remaining 30 tiger reserves.

Incidentally, though the Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand is not a tiger reserve, but it has been included in the data base as 15 tigers are reported to be in the Park.

Despite all efforts to preserve the tiger, and a constant vigil in most of the tiger habitats in the country, yet the big cat is being poached and killed year after year.

According to figures available, 32 tigers were killed in 2009, 30 in 2010, 13 in 2011 and seven till February, this year..

Informed sources here said that it was almost impossible to say from which tiger reserve, a feline was poached upon whose skin and other parts are recovered say in Mumbai or Calcutta or Delhi .

In the absence of vital information it is almost impossible to zero in on the tiger habitat and the poachers in the vicinity, who may have been responsible for killing the big cat.

However, with the database of 11 tiger reserves ready, it can be used to match the DNA profile from the skin or other remains recovered with those in the database.

This will give the exact reserve from which the feline had been killed and help nab the poachers, against whom stringent action can then be taken under the Wildlife Act. This should serve as a deterrent to others involved in the trade.

The data base which was prepared by forensic experts of the Wildlife Institute of India here and is ready to be put under trial.

The trial process will continue for a few months and on seeing the practical possibilities after the results, it will be expanded to the remaining tiger reserves of the country also, sources pointed out.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand).

Jagdish has worked with India’s leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications.

A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award.

He lives in Dehra Dun.

1 Comment

  • Anil says:

    I visited Corbett National Park recently after a gap of eight years. I have noticed rampant urbanization all along the way from Ram Nagar till Mohaan. Resorts and Hotels have come up (I wonder who gives them the NOC) and one can see garbage and construction material all along the way, also filled with green Gypsy vans (supposed to be authorized by the forest department to conduct safaris) there are so many of them, zipping up and down till Dhangari gate (The gate also has undergone a very ‘chic’ and ‘modern’ change)

    Once inside the camp at Dhikala, the majestic elephant safari’s have been replaced by more gypsy jeeps to take visitors on a twice a day safari.

    I wonder why the conservationists are quite on this?

    I am sure the human interference and increasing traffic might be taxing on the wildlife.

    Booking a forest rest house was itself a nightmare at Ram Nagar office – inspite of availability of accommodation , there is this rampant corruption – though unwillingly I was guilty of paying more to get the accommodation for a night in Dhikala Camp.

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