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Survey finds sizeable tiger population in Kaziranga
K Anurag in Guwahati | February 18, 2009 13:33 IST
There is good news for activists fighting to save the dwindling population of tigers in India. A sample survey in Kaziranga National Park in Assam, which is being carried out by the conservation group Aaranyak under the aegis of the Assam Forest and Wildlife Department, has indicated that a sizeable tiger population has survived in the sprawling wildlife sanctuary.
The recent deaths of ten tigers in Kaziranga had alarmed the authorities. But the survey indicates that there is one tiger per 100 sq km in the wildlife park, which has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO, due to the large population of endangered one-horned rhinoceros.
A source informed that tigers appear to be thriving inside the park because of the high level of protection and easy availability of prey.
The infrared camera traps being used by the group has so far recorded over 400 images of a range of animals, including the tiger. Set up at strategic locations, the cameras would eventually help create the biggest image bank of animals in the Kaziranga National Park.
Tigers have also been spotted by personnel of the Forest Department and others trained by Aaranyak, as part of the ongoing project.
Both camera traps and human observations suggest that the number of tigers has not gone down. The exact result of the survey will be available by the end of April this year.
The study has deduced that the prey base for tigers remains intact, and the quality of habitat has not deteriorated. The final analysis of the survey will form the base for the tiger census scheduled for later in the year.
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