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48 tigers in non-protected Chandrapur forest areas of Maharashtra: WCT Survey

May 27, 2015 14:27 IST

The tiger estimation study in non-protected areas of Maharashtra conducted by the Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) on 26 May 2015 claimed that as many as 48 tigers have inhabited outside the protected areas in forests of Chandrapur district.

The survey claims that total number of such animals has now increased to 120 in the zone which is home to Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR). As per the survey, the number of big cats in the district stands at 120, including 60 in core area and 12 in buffer area of TATR.

The study was carried out in the territorial forests and areas under Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM) over last four months. The study was first of its kind in the country, which was carried out across 2000 square kilometers of territorial area outside the protected area. The survey was sponsored by Chandrapur Forest department.

Besides, WCT President, Anish Andhariya informed that tiger density in some blocks in these areas was found to be higher than that of some tiger reserves, like tiger density in Kanhalgaon-Central Chanda Block was found to be 2.34, which is more than that of Melghat Tiger Reserve in the state, in Junona-Central Chanda block was found to be 1.77, which is higher than that of Sahyadri Tiger Reserve.

How tiger’s movement was monitored?
Movement of tigers in Greater Tadoba Landscape (non PA areas outside TATR) was identified by DNA identification through scat collection. In the process, the 2000 square kilometer area outside protected area was divided into six blocks in accordance to occupancy of tigers and other large carnivores.

The team used Phase-IV camera trap (capture-recapture) technique to ascertain the exact number of tigers and leopards in these blocks. As per the guidelines for Phase-IV tiger estimation, the entire area was covered by a network of 600 camera traps for 25 days.

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