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(English) Bengal tigers census begin

In this file photo by Kinhua, a Royal Bengal Tiger roams in its cage at central zoo in Kathmandu, Nepal.
In this file photo by Kinhua, a Royal Bengal Tiger roams in its cage at central zoo in Kathmandu, Nepal.

KATHMANDU, Nepal–Aiming to find out the exact number of Bengal tigers, a tiger census has been carried out in the Shuklaphant Wildlife Reserve, in conserved areas of the Tarai Arc Landscape, situated in the extreme south-west of Nepal.

The tiger counting would be carried out with the help of camera trapping and all together, 80 cameras are being installed in pair at different locations of the reserve, sources at the Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) in Kathmandu informed.

A team comprising of 21 technical people, including the officials from the Reserve and the Nature Conservation Trust, is deployed for the census. The team will ride on two elephants inside the Reserve for the counting which would last for 35 days. Moreover, the team will study the tiger’s occupancy and its behavior.

During the census which carried out two and half years ago, there were 21 tigers in the reserve which spreads across an area of 305 km square.

The camera trapping system is regarded as credible technique since the process doesn’t repeat the number of already counted tigers and their footprints also make it easier to separate male and female tigers.

According to official at the warden, at least 25 percent area of the reserve is occupied by the movements of the tigers.

Earlier in 2011, new five tigers were spotted in the Reserve after camera trapping system. Apart from Bengal tigers, Sukla Phanta is the stronghold for other endangered animal like swamp deer, hog deer, nilgai, wild dog, jackal among others.

According to WWF, tigers worldwide are in serious danger of becoming extinct in the wild. Their numbers have fallen from 100,000 in 1900 to around 3,200 now.

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