Jul 21, 2015
Pilibhit: Pilibhit tiger reserve finally has happy tidings coming in. The sprawling tiger reserve has camera-trapped as many as 15 tiger cubs since April. While eight cubs have been recorded in camera others have been spotted by the forest staff in different ranges. At least 13 of the cubs must be less than a year old. Pilibhit has 200 sensor-enabled cameras installed since April covering the 720 sq km of the reserve for the tiger census exercise of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). The sensor-enabled cameras click every movement within their operational range.
Till June 30, the cameras have recorded the movement of several new-born tiger cubs. The cubs which were too little to be trapped by cameras mounted at a certain height were spotted by the forest staff. Besides installing cameras, impression pads are also made at sites located closer to water bodies or in forest patches with abundant population of herbivores as they get frequent tiger-movement.
“We have started downloading the camera feed,” said Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Pilibhit, Kailash Prakash. The downloaded camera feed will be analysed to arrive at the final count. The tigers are distinguished on the basis of the pattern of stripes on their body and face. On June 22, a tigress had given birth to four cubs in Mala range of the reserve. On June 27, the cubs and the mother were recorded in the camera. Besides, cubs were also seen in Mahof and Barahi ranges, said a forest staff. Tiger census 2011 had shown 35 to 40 tigers present in Pilibhit reserve, the only forest area in the state which according to tiger census 2014 report has shown some ‘improvement’. At present, officers put the tiger count at 28 in the reserve. Pilibhit reserve has five ranges — Barahi, Mala, Deoria, Mahof and Haripur which are scattered patches of forest and human interference. In that case, ensuring that new-borns are safe is a big responsibility on the officers at the reserve. UP STF and wildlife crime control bureau (WCCB), New Delhi has arrested 15 poacher from Pilibhit since January. Pilibhit has seen worst crime against tigers in the past. To tide over the man-tiger conflict, UP government declared Pilibhit a tiger reserve last year. To cut down the conflict, 80% area of 72,000 hectare reserve has been marked as core area.
As Posted in Timesofindia.indiatimes.com