May 20, 2015
PILIBHIT: The first phase of tiger counting in the Haripur and Barahi ranges of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve was completed on Monday, but the authorities are still unclear about who is to monitor the final process of screening tigers to find out their actual number. While the divisional forest officer of PTR said that the pictures of tigers captured by the camera traps will be analyzed by WWF members, the coordinator of Worldwide Fund for Nature has a different story to tell. According to him, the concerned pictures will be handed over to PTR authorities for dispatch to the Wildlife Institute of India in Dehradun. Kailash Prakash, the divisional forest officer, said that the forest department staff lacked the technical knowledge to carry out the final counting. On the contrary, Dr Mudit Gupta, the WWF coordinator said that his institution’s role was limited to facilitating PTR with camera traps and providing the necessary knowhow regarding their installation, operation and their perfect handling. The confusing situation has raised questions about PTR’s strategic planning as well as the accuracy of the tiger counting results.
Meanwhile, preparations for uninstalling the 144 cameras in Haripur and Bahari forest ranges have already begun. These will now be shifted to the three remaining ranges – Mala, Mahof and Deoria – in the reserve, where the second and final phase of the counting will begin. Dr Mudit Gupta said, “A total of 110 jungle tracks have been identified and a pair of camera traps will be installed on each track, taking then umber of cameras to 220. Of these, 176 would be provided by WWF. The installation of camera traps in all the three ranges would be completed within a week.” Apart from these 57 cameras have been made available by the forest department, said Prakash.
As posted in Timesofindia.indiatimes.com