This project is beginning in February/March...
Dispersing Tadoba tigers to be radio collared
NAGPUR: For the first time in the country, a massive exercise to study and understand the movement of tigers will be undertaken from next year. It entails radio-collaring a number of dispersing wildcats in and around Tadoba, in Chandrapur district.
The Rs 1.70 crore project - long-term comprehensive monitoring of tigers, co-predators, and prey animals- has been approved for five years, beginning March 2013, but may be extended for another five if the need arises. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) will chip in with Rs 1.15 crore while the rest of the funds will come from the Maharashtra government.
At the last count, there were 65 tigers in Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR, 625 sq kms) and its buffer area (1102 sq kms). An equal number is present in its landscape which covers a radius of 50-60 kms. With Tadoba being the breeding ground, a conservative guesstimate is that at least 5-7 tigers annually will be moving out to mark own territories. Cubs between 18 months and 2 years will be radio collared.
Apart from the census which is undertaken every year to estimate the tiger population, no such exercise has ever been done in the country. "The telemetry studies have been conducted by scientists not states and that too in bits and pieces," said K Ullas Karanth, the well-known wildlife expert, who did a study 1990-1996.
He also named Raghu Chundawat, in the early 2000s, and WII's Dr YV Jhala, in Kanha, Sunderban and Panna, as the others who have conducted telemetry (radio-collaring) studies. Abroad, David Smith in the 1990s "did a good radiotelemetry study of dispersal in Nepal", Karanth informed.
Jhala had radio-collared at least 10 tigers in Kanha tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh out of which one tigress traversed almost 250km in 4 months to reach Pench in Maharashtra in December 2007.
"Scientist and expert on big cats from WII, Dr Bilal Habib will head the project," said SWH Naqvi, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife), Maharashtra. The draft agreement between the three agencies is being readied.
"The plan is to study where the dispersing tigers go, breed and have their prey base," Naqvi told TOI.
Pune's Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (YASHDA) is already conducting study of tiger corridors. Naqvi said the organization's study is restricted to the corridors between Pench and Tadoba.
Naqvi had been pursuing the project with NTCA since January but it was finally approved at a meeting in Delhi on October 2. "With the study, we hope to take timely mitigation measures in case of serious issues like man-animal conflict," he said.
* Study population dynamics of tigers in Tadoba, its buffer and adjoining landscape extending till Nagbhid-Bhiwapur-Umred.
* Knowing occupancy, breeding, prey-base, ecology and corridors.
* Dispersing tiger cubs from Tadoba will be radio-collared.
* The project is for five years and will be extended for another five years if need felt.
* Of the Rs 1.70 crore, NTCA to give Rs 1.15 crore while rest will be shared by state government.
* The project will be launched between February and March 2013.
Tass tigress shows the way
The Tass (about 60 kms from Nagpur) tigress, which was rescued from an open canal well on October 13, 2011 and radio-collared before its release in the wild on November 27, seems to have shown the way. It was the first successful experiment in the country of a tigress being rescued and released successfully after collaring. The tigress had reached the doorstep of Tadoba reserve a month after its release. The radio collar has now fallen off after its shelf life of six months.
They are only collaring cubs , so some of Waghdoh's and Shivaji's will certainly be collared---I wish they collared and weighed some of these huge males .
Though this can help us get more information on some of these huge males @ Tadoba..