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Now, tigers to be assigned UIDs

 

THE TIMES OF INDIA
Krishnendu Mukherjee,TNN
Dec 4, 2012

KOLKATA: Getting a UID is no longer just a unique human right. Tigers can have it too.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) issued a guideline on Monday, proposing to assign a unique identification (UID) number to each tiger captured through camera traps. The NTCA wants to create a national repository of camera-trap photographs of tigers, and the UIDs will help cut out duplication and give the big cats an exact headcount. Tigers in the Sunderbans, for instance, will have the prefix 'Su' before a number while those in the northeast hills will have 'NE'. Tigers are identified on the basis of stripe patterns obtained through the camera trap images.

The Ranthambore tigers are likely to be the first to get UIDs, officials said.

NTCA deputy inspector general S P Yadav said the aim was to identify all tigers across India. "Each tiger will have its own UID number. Once the tiger dies, the UID will be closed. Even if the tiger crosses over to another state or country through a contiguous border, like what the Indian Sunderbans shares with Bangladesh, the tiger can be recognized through the UID," Yadav said.

Tiger reserves will prepare detailed camera trap records. "The entire exercise will take place under the leadership of the chief wildlife wardens. Apart from photographs of tigers, the data will have details lik, trap location, date, time, beats and ranges where the tiger was photo captured, the camera ID and memory ID," the NTCA guidelines say.

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