Scientists have finally found an answer to count tigers in the wild accurately.
Billed as the first such effort in the world, scientists at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) here have demonstrated a fool-proof DNA fingerprinting technique for conducting tiger census and to determine the extent of their genetic diversity. The process would cost Rs 1.5 crore.
The non-invasive sampling procedure involves extracting DNA from a tiger’s fecal matter and developing a code that helps in estimating the population based on the distinct ‘biological signature’.
The pilot study, done by CCMB director Dr Lalji Singh and his research student Jyotsna Bhagavatula, has been published online in BMC Genetics.
“If the government gives the sanction, we will replicate it in all the reserves across the country,” Singh told a press conference on Monday.