TNN | Feb 24, 2012, 10.23PM IST
JORHAT: The tiger census of Kaziranga National Park began on Friday in all its four forest ranges – Kohora, Bagori, Agoratoli and Burhapahar.
“We have started tiger monitoring in all the four ranges of Kaziranga. The operation will take about 45 days to complete. Like previous years, we are using the camera trapping method to conduct the operation. Hundred such cameras have already been installed in the park,” Surajit Dutta, the park director, said.
He added, “The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has sanctioned Rs 20 lakh to conduct the census in the park. We have engaged two biodiversity conservation societies and a group of researchers and scholars to complete the project within the stipulated time.”
A wildlife research official of Kaziranga will supervise the operation in all the forest ranges.
According to the latest NTCA report – ‘Status of Tigers, Co-predators and Prey in India, 2010′ – Kaziranga tiger reserve is in the fourth position after Bandhavgarh tiger reserve. Kaziranga’s density is 15.92 tigers per 100 sq km. Bandhavgarh’s is 16.25 tigers per 100 sq km.
Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park, on the northern bank of Brahmaputra in Assam, has the second highest tiger density in the country after Corbett Tiger Reserve. Tiger density in Orang is of 17.68 per 100 sq km, while Corbett has a density of 17.83 tigers per 100 sq km.
According to the national tiger census in 2010, results released by the MoEF, the northeast, covering the hilly states, Brahmaputra floodplains and the northern part of West Bengal, is home to an estimated 148 tigers with the upper and lower limits hovering between 178 and 118 respectively.
The region itself, according to the 2010 census, showed a considerable increase in its tiger population as compared to Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India’s 2008 report. According to the earlier report, Assam had 70 tigers, Mizoram had six and northern West Bengal had 10.
Kaziranga was formally declared a tiger reserve in 2006. The government launched ‘Project Tiger’ here in 2007.
The park lost four tigers in December last year. Police gunned down one tiger while another one was poisoned to death by miscreants and two died in territorial fights.