In 2018, the AP Forest Department used less than 300 cameras, but this time it kept nearly 1300 cameras ready for the Census. (DC)
Visakhapatnam: For the first time, as many as 1000 infra-red cameras are being installed in Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR) in Andhra Pradesh to count big cats for the `India Tiger Census 2022’.
At present, the state has 63 big cats and there would be chances of another 10 to 15 percent rise in tiger population in the new Census report, which will be released by the Prime Minister on July 29 to mark Global Tiger Day.
There are 51 tiger reserves in 18 states across the country whereas the NSTR is the largest among them covering more than 3 lakh hectares, spreading over Kurnool, Prakasam, Kadapa, Chittoor and Guntur districts.
"We have divided the NSTR into three blocks to install cameras for collecting the tiger stripes. We have already installed 900 cameras in the first block, the monitoring process of which will be continued up to November 20. Next, we will go to the remaining blocks to apply the same process. All this exercise will be completed by January 2022," said the Tiger project field director Srinivasa Reddy.
In 2018, the AP Forest Department used less than 300 cameras, but this time it kept nearly 1300 cameras ready for the Census without depending on manual strategy like a collection of pug marks by the beat forest officers, etc.
Software called M-STriPES (monitoring system for tigers intensive patrolling and ecological status) will be used to analyse the data of the cameras. National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) will collect the data from all the states, analyse and keep ready the Tiger Census 2022.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, the AP Forests Force head N. Prateep Kumar said that they have to send the state’s tiger data to the Centre by February 15, 2022. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release the overall All India Tiger Census 2022 on July 29 to mark Global Tiger Day, he added.
"We take up this process with collective support from the local Chenchu community people, who are the backbone of the department in conserving tigers and other wildlife," Prateep Kumar said.
AT A GLANCE
- Tiger Census 2022 will be released on July 29
- PM Modi will release the Census report
- India has 51 tiger reserves in 18 states
- India’s largest tiger reserve exists in Andhra Pradesh
- AP has 63 tigers as per latest studies
- AP Forests to submit the camera stripes by February 15 to Centre
- AP Forests has 1300 cameras to collect the tiger stripes
- MSTriPES software is used to analyse the Tiger Census in India