Hyderabad: Tiger monitoring in the state remains focused on numbers.
Camera traps used in Kawal and Amrabad reserves help in providing data on the number of the tigers present. Genetic monitoring is not done.
Genetic monitoring through DNA analysis of scat samples is done in some other reserves to collect qualitative data for tiger conservation. The data can oversee genetic diversity to ensure that tigers are not in-breeding. It can be used for forensic investigations, movement of tigers, sex ratio, assessment of mating systems and behavioural ecology.
Only once, in 2008-09, before the Kawal wildlife sanctuary was declared as a tiger reserve, was scat samples collected and sent for analysis to the Laboratory for Conservation of Endangered Species at the CCMB. The samples showed the presence of four tigers.
Kawal now has two tigers in the core area and the unconfirmed sighting of a third one has been reported. There are five big cats in the buffer zone. It is stated that Amarabad has 17-18 tigers.
A research paper on genetic monitoring published this year by scientists P. Anuradha Reddy and D.S. Gour from LaCONES stated that non-invasive genetic surveys do not require expensive field equipment or specialised training and are cost-effective.