The much-awaited tiger census in the Sunderbans forest will begin next month and preparations are underway to conduct the exercise with DNA sampling method for the first time.
Pradeep Vyas, director of the Sunderbans Biosphere Reserve (SBR) told PTI here that the census would be conducted in February. The exact dates would, however, be decided after the field training of staff was over.
"Training of the staff is now underway and their field training will begin by the end of this month," Vyas said, adding 200 tiger guards will assist the census staff.
For the first time DNA sampling method would be tried for the tiger head counting in the famous mangrove forest, he said.
Field director of the Sunderbans tiger reserve Subrat Mukherjee said that tiger scats would be collected from inside the forest and would be sent for analysis to determine the number of big cats.
Tiger counting has been traditionally done in the Sunderbans by ‘pug mark method’ in which the fresh impressions of the left hind pug were collected from the field and analysed.