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Ranthambhore Tiger Census Figures Released


PRESS RELEASE
New Delhi, 18 July 2005

Rajasthan Empowered Committee releases Ranthambhore Census Figures

Under the supervision of the Empowered Committee on Forests and Wildlife Management constituted by the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Rajasthan, census operations were carried out in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve during May-June, 2005. The technical input for the planning of census operations using camera trap technique for tiger population estimation and transect counts for estimating ungulate populations including the training of field staff, data analyses and interpretation was provided by a team of scientists and researchers from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun. The Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), a national NGO, used for the first time in India the Digital Pugmark Technique and a software programme for estimation of tiger population.

Using the Digital Pugmark Technique, WPSI has estimated the population of tiger in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve to be 26. The WII Camera Trap Technique has estimated the population of tigers in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve to be 21 with a range between 15 and 27. The traditional analysis of tiger pugmarks carried out by the Rajasthan Forest Department estimated 31 tigers. After analysing the data generated by the three methods, the Empowered Committee on Forests and Wildlife Management concluded that there are 26 tigers in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve.

In all eight ranges of Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, 89 transects were laid for ungulate counts and data was collected by the frontline staff in the month of May 2005. A total of 1,119 km were walked by the frontline staff and all the species observed were recorded.

"I am very pleased with the transparency of this exercise. It is a model for the rest of India to follow - this is the first time that such reliable estimates have been established, and an exercise of this magnitude carried out in a tiger reserve", said Mr V.P. Singh, the Chairman of the Empowered Committee. The study has also provided a valuable insight to the distribution and abundance of wild ungulate species, viz. Chital, Sambar, Nilgai, Chinkara and Wild Pig in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve. The Sambar density of 8.6 animals/sq. km recorded in Ranthambhore is one of the highest in India.

The study has estimated that there are about 16,000 Chital, 9,800 Sambar, 9,500 Nilgai, 2,100 Chinkara and 2,600 Wild Pig in Ranthambhore, which can easily support a tiger population of between 25-30.The transect study has also revealed a very high proportion of domestic livestock in the buffer areas of RTR in which no tigers have been observed.

The census operations have demonstrated that the close cooperation between the State Government's Empowered Committee, the park management, a scientific institution and a NGO can provide very valuable and reliable information on tiger and ungulate numbers and also enhance understanding for effective management of national parks and sanctuaries. The permanent transects in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve will be used for regular monitoring of animal species.

Released by:
Shri V.P.Singh, M.P
Chairman,
Empowered Committee on
Forests and Wildlife Management,
Govt. of Rajasthan 

 

 

 

 

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