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Cameras capture 17 tigers outside Sunderbans reserve area

 

Krishnendu Mukherjee, TNN | Mar 20, 2012

KOLKATA: The first ever camera trap exercise done in the South 24 Parganas forest division has found presence of over 15 tigers.

The exercise, done jointly by WWF-India and the state forest department has photo captured 8 individual tigers in the Ramganga range and 9 in the Raidighi range. Sources said tiger presence was found in Dhulibhashani and Chulkathi compartments in Ramganga, while Ajmalmari and Herobhanga compartments in Raidighi range also reported good tiger density.

It may be noted that over 462 square kilometres in this part of the mangrove forests will be developed as West Sunderbans Wildlife Sanctuary.

According to sources, the entire South 24 Parganas forest division was divided into 4 square kilometres grid to locate tiger pugmarks and scats. "Later, based on pugmarks and scat presence, 20 heat motion sensitive cameras were laid in the Ramganga range covering an area of over 184 square kilometres and 21 trap camera stations were set up in the Raidighi range covering almost 216 square kilometres ," said sources. The exercise for Ramganga was done between January 23 and February 21, while trap cameras were laid and taken out in Raidighi between February 11 and March 12.

"While 8 tigers were found in the Ramganga range with a density of 5.24 tigers per 100 square kilometres , Raidighi has recorded presence of 9 tigers till March 12 with a density of over 4 tigers per 100 square kilometres. Total 44 images were captured in Raidighi," said sources, adding that rare leopard cats, jungle cats and fishing cats too were photo captured.

The project will also cover Herobhanga under South 24 Parganas forest division and Sajnekhali Wildlife Sanctuary under Sunderbans Tiger Reserve (STR). The officials of WWF-India are meeting state forest minister Hiten Burman and senior officials in the department today to brief them about the updated figures of the big cats photo captured between March 12 and March 19. 


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