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India’s 2018 Tiger Census sets Guinness World Record for being world’s largest camera trap wildlife survey

The camera traps captured, in total, 34,858,623 photographs of the wildlife. Out of it, 76,651 were of tigers, 51,777 were of Leopards and the remaining were of other native fauna.

Jul 11, 2020 19:57 IST
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The All India Tiger Estimation 2018 which was released in 2019 has set a new record by entering the Guinness World Record for being the world’s largest camera trap wildlife survey.

As per the citation at the Guinness World Record, the fourth iteration of the survey which was conducted in 2018-2019, was the most comprehensive to date, in terms of both data amassed and resource.

The results which were released last year showed that India had an estimated 2,967 tigers out of which 2461 individuals were photo captured. The comprehensive nature of the study showed a whopping 83% of the tiger population in India.

Key Highlights:

In the survey, camera traps were placed at 26,838 locations across 141 different sites. It surveyed an effective area of 121,337 square kilometers. Camera traps are outdoor photographic devices that are fitted with motion sensors which start recording when an animal passes by. 

The camera traps captured, in total, 34,858,623 photographs of the wildlife. Out of it, 76,651 were of tigers, 51,777 were of Leopards and the remaining were of other native fauna.

From these taken photographs, 2,461 individual tigers, excluding the cubs, were identified using the stripe-pattern-recognition pattern.

The 2018 ‘Status of Tigers in India’ assessment had also conducted extensive foot surveys that covered 522,996 km of trails and sampled 317,958 habitat plots for prey dung and vegetation.

It has been estimated that the total area of forest studied for the survey was 381,200 km2 and the collection and review of the data equated to some 620,795 labour days.

About All India Tiger Estimation:

The All India Tiger Estimation done every four years is directed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority with technical support from the Wildlife Institute of India. It is implemented by the State Forest Department and partners.

As per the Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, India now has an estimated 2967 tigers as per the latest census. With this number, India has nearly 75% of the global tiger population and it has already fulfilled its resolution of doubling the tiger numbers much before its target year 2022. The resolution was made at St. Petersburg in 2010.

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