Shoot to count

TIGER census will now be done by shoot- ing the cats - with a camera, of course! Earlier, pug marks counting was the only method.

"Camera trapping", as ,he new method is known, lalls for the installation of etectronically operated ,ameras in select forest areas. The study will be -ndertaken by the noted karnataka-based environmentalist, Ullas Karanth.

The 7 national parks where "camera trapping" is expected to become operational from this year include Pench and Kanha in Madhya Pradesh, Corbett in Uttar Pradesh, Kaziranga in Assam, Namdafa in Arunachal Pradesh, the Sundarbans in West Bengal and Nagerhole in Karnataka. According to wildlife Experts, the pug mark theory is not very reliable. "The camera method is based on sound scientific principles which I had validated in my experiments," says Karanath. The population densities of tigers in different habitats, and the predator prey ratio will be considered before arriving at the estimates.