Sariska tigers to get hi-tech gadgets | india | Hindustan Times
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Sariska tigers to get hi-tech gadgets

india Updated: Jun 15, 2009 13:05 IST

Having "chewed" their radio-collars, the three tigers in Sariska will soon get new high-tech and light weight gadgets around their necks to enable officials to track their movement.

"This time we will use radio-collars having in-built antenna for animals unlike the earlier ones which had external antenna. We found that the predators had chewed each other's antenna during playing," K Shankar, an expert from Wildlife Institute of India (WII),said PTI.

The collars weighing around one kg have been given free of cost by Canada-based firm, Lotek in view of the failure of its previous gadgets. "As per norms, the weight of the collar is much less than 5 per cent of the body weight of the animal which is usually around 150 kgs."

Shankar said the collars were an important part of the animal recovery species plan and would keep a track on the movement of the royal predators- - two female and a male big cat shifted phase wise since July last year from Ranthambore tiger reserves.

Two more tigers are planned to be relocated to Sariska reserve before 2010.

Wildlife official explained that the collar contains transmitters that sends information in short pulses, which is picked up by a satellite, which in turn transmits the data to dedicated centres, in this case Argos centres for processing.

This earmarked satellite is being operated by Argos System, supported by NASA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (USA), and the French Space Agency - CNES

This will help the wildlife authorities keep track of the movement of the animals and their behaviour. Relocating predators to a new habitat — a first of its kind experiment in India — is aimed at reviving the tiger population at Sariska which had lost all its big cats to poaching by 2004.

"We are waiting for a nod from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to radio-collar the animals in Sariska. It may happen soon as the weather is quiet conducive for the job," Shankar said.