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.