The bouncy Tiggers of Winnie the Pooh, Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes, and Shere Khan of The Jungle Book fame-the majestic cats have got all the attention they deserve. Unfortunately, in recent times, they have become a symbol of conservation.
Did you know?
Less than a century ago, there were more than 100,000 tigers in the forests of Asia. But today, there are only 3,000 tigers left!
Owing to human activities, tigers are an endangered species today. To create awareness and protect tigers, the International Tiger Day is observed every year on July 29.
International Tiger Day
This International Tiger Day, let’s learn about some of the most common methods of tiger census used worldwide.
Just like how humans have unique fingerprints, tigers have unique pugmarks. Based on the number of pugmarks in a particular area, the number of tigers in that area is estimated.
The poop samples of tigers from a particular area are collected, and DNA sampling is done. The sampling helps in identifying the individual animal and count the number of tigers in the area. To get accurate numbers, the sample collection process is repeated for a short period.
Radio Collar Method
In this method, a tiger is captured and fitted with a radio collar and released back into the wild. The radio signals from the collar help in tracking the movement of the animal. This helps in keeping a count of the animals. But this method is not feasible in areas like Sunderbans as these devices don’t function when exposed to saltwater.
Camera Trapping Method
Here, infrared cameras are used to record the images of the animal. Cameras are strategically placed in tiger habitats. The movement of the animal triggers these cameras. This method is not foolproof as all the tigers in the area may not have been filmed.
The Chinese Year of the Tiger is just three years away and it’s time we take tiger conservation seriously. So, let us all take an oath to do our bit by creating awareness to protect these roaring beauties.
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