Scientists from the US and India have collaborated and are now in the final phase of developing and testing sensors and high-end embedded computer technology to protect tigers and other wild life at the Panna National Park in Madhya Pradesh.
The number of tigers in Panna reserve had fallen to zero in 2009. At present, the number of tigers is around 21 and tracking in the reserve is done manually.
“We are developing a wireless network of low-powered radars for the forest boundary. When the system notices a human entering the tiger’s reserve, or a tiger leaving the forest, it will sound an alarm… This will keep a watch, detect and track the movements of the big cat,” Anish Arora of Ohio State University in the US told HT.
“Each radar by itself has a radius of 15 meters and at present, the 15 radars in a network can cover nearly 500 meters. Once adopted, there could be a requirement of 750-1000 radars,” he added.
The project is now entering its operational phase and it can take a little over an year for it to be adopted. “Once we are confident of its working at the Panna national reserve, the tracking technology can be replicated elsewhere,” said Arora.
Additionally, M. Radhakrishna at the Indian Institute of Information Technology in Allahabad has experimented with fibre-optic sensors to detect and identify trespassers while researchers at the Indian Institute of Science are developing pyro-electric infrared sensors. These will also soon be moved to the field.
Panna Tiger Reserve director R Sriniwas Murthy told HT, “I am confident these technological interventions will go a long way in protecting and preserving the tigers.”