Sariska reserve admn to launch NTCA phase-IV monitoring for missing tigress

The tigress had gone off the radar on February 24.

jaipur Updated: Mar 22, 2018 22:20 IST
Sachin Saini
Sachin Saini
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Rajasthan news,National Tiger Conservation Authority,Sariska Tiger Reserve
Forest officials and WII team make a temporary water body for intensive camera trapping in Sariska Tiger Reserve, Alwar.(HT Photo)

After failing to trace the missing tigress (ST-5), the Sariska Tiger Reserve (STR) administration has decided to launch phase-IV monitoring, a National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) protocol for continuous monitoring of tiger reserves and tiger source areas.

The tigress had gone off the radar on February 24. The tigress’ radio collar has been defunct since February 7, sources said.

The tigress was last cited on February 21 with a four-year-old male tiger (ST-11) in Umri area of the reserve and there it was observed that the radio collar was not functioning. There are chances that she mated with ST-11. On February 27, pugmarks of the tigress were found but she was not cited.

After 25 days of intensive combing, involving over 100 personnel, the STR administration is all set to start Phase-IV monitoring.

The reserve has an overall area of about 800 sq km and a core area of approximately 500 sq km, with a total of 14 tigers – nine female and five males.

Under phase-IV, the STR administration will divide the total area into grids of 2X2 km, which in total would be over 120 (grids). In each grid, one or two camera traps will be installed. Around 250 cameras will be used. The forest department teams will continuously monitor the cameras for 25 days and the data will be downloaded and checked daily.

Chief conservator of forest and field director Sariska Tiger Project (Alwar) Govind Sagar Bharadwaj said, “We have given necessary directions and in two-three days camera traps will be installed as per NTCA phase-IV monitoring. Data will be monitored and analysed regularly for 25 days to locate the tigress.”

Sources in the department said after analysing data from the camera traps already installed at STR they have seen less wildlife and more humans.

Not ruling out any possibility, a forest official said the tigress is 12 years old, she might have been pushed out of her territory (Umri-Kemala-Sukola-Devdi in the core area of the Reserve); changed her movement; given birth; died due to poison or old age; or poached.

In November 2016 after a territorial fight, tiger ST-6 made sure that his son ST-13 did not enter his territory for last eight months.

First Published: Mar 22, 2018 22:20 IST