|Big cat tracking to get smarter in mangroves
THE TIMES OF INDIA
Kolkata, Aug 20, 2015
Krishnendu Mukherjee, TNN
Tiger conservation in the Sunderbans is set to get a smart touch. An
Android mobile app will soon be launched to help with habitat
monitoring in the swamps.
Hejje, the app, will track the
patrolling staff in the mangroves — a move that foresters believe will
help them get better scientific information and execute policies
related to wildlife management in the long run. A forester said this
application is currently being used in two tiger reserves in India —
Bandipur and Nagarhole in Karnataka.
" The patrolling staff will
use smartphones installed with the app during their routine patrols.
They will collect information about animal movements, salinity in water
and suspicious activities, which will be stored on the data cards of
the devices," said Sunderbans Tiger Reserve (STR) field director
Soumitra Dasgupta. He added that this will enable real-time tracking of
According to him, all alerts are sent as text
messages to an assigned number, which will be used by someone in a
forest camp or a senior officer at the STR office in Canning.
STR has 31 patrolling camps and more than 100 staffers who regularly
patrol the area on boats. Plans are on to provide all of them with
" The app will help us monitor patrolling
operations. The start and end time of each operation and even the
distance covered by the teams can be tracked through the application.
This way, the staff won't be able to skip their responsibilities,"
Additionally, in emergency situations, like tiger
deaths, staffers will be able to take pictures and share them with
senior officers at the forest camps.
Anticipating that poor
mobile network connectivity in the area will hamper the process, the
users will be given the option of downloading data on computers.
The information stored in the smartphones' data card can be downloaded
on a computer at the nearest forest office, which will be checked by
officers later," Dasgupta said.