मंगलवार, 2 दिसंबर 2014

Tiger census starts at Shuklaphanta

The census of Bengal tigers has begun in the Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve through camera trapping technology on Thursday. The administration of the popular wildlife reserve, which is spread over an area of 3,500 sq km, stated that they will be counting the tigers at the reserve using the technology for a period of one month.
Stating that the counting of the elusive big cats will be conducted in two phases spanning 15 days each, Bed Kumar Dhakal, chief conservation officer at the Reserve said that unlike previous years when the programme was conducted at conserved areas nationwide, the programme will be conducted only in the wildlife reserves and national parks with low tiger count this year. Dhakal further informed that the programme will also be conducted in Parsa Wildlife Reserve and Banke National Park. The programme is being conducted with active participation of the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), Reserve officials and Nepal Army personnel deployed for the security of the Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve.
According to Dhakal, the programme is conducted every year at conserved areas with low tiger population to keep track of the elusive big cats. During the tiger counting and monitoring conducted at the reserve last year, 11-17 adult striped tigers were spotted.  There were 27 stripped tigers at the reserve during the first tiger counting and monitoring conducted about one and a half decades ago. However, the number had been decreasing ever since, falling down to an average of 6-8 coming into the year 2008. An increase in their number had only been witnessed after 2011 when 10 tigers were found, which gradually increased to 17 last year.
Meanwhile, Hemant Yadav, coordinator of NTNC, Kanchanpur programme said that training classes for participants in the tiger census had been started since last Sunday.
“A 22 member team will count the tigers with the help of 46 automated cameras,” Yadav said, adding that camera trapping was the most effective and reliable
technology to keep a tab on tiger population in a given area.
The population of these majestic creatures—which is estimated to be around 3200—has been decreasing by the year in all tiger habitats across the world. Hence, the Tiger Range Countries (TRC)  have started conservation programmes to double the number of tigers left in the wild by 2022.
According to the Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation, the number of striped tigers stood at 176 within various conserved areas in Nepal until last year.

Rhino collared in Khata corridor 
 A sub-adult female rhino was fitted with a satellite collar on Thursday and released into wild in Khata corridor that connects Bardiya National Park in Nepal with Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary in India. Data retrieved from the satellite collar will provide key insights to habitat use and movement patterns of rhinos along the corridor. The collaring initiative was led by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation(DoNPWC) and Department of Forests with the support of WWF Nepal, National Trust for Nature Conservation, and local communities. “This is the first time that we have selected a corridor as a collaring site for rhinos,” said to Tika Ram Adhikary, director general of the DoNPWC.
“The corridors serve an important contiguous function in the Terai Arc Landscape and with the help of this study we hope to gain from useful insights in conservation that will benefit wildlife and people on both sides of the trans-boundary landscape.”

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