close
This ad will auto close in 10 seconds

More tigers in Buxa: Scat samples

The Buxa Tiger Reserve in north Bengal may be harbouring a greater number of the big cats.



Kolkata: The Buxa Tiger Reserve in north
Bengal, identified as a low density tiger reserve, may in fact
harbour a greater number of the big cats as indicated by
initial reports of scat samples.

"We had sent 83 samples to the Centre for Cellular and
Molecular Biology in Hyderabad of which 55 were fit for
analysis. Preliminary reports confirmed that 33 of these
samples are of tiger origin," Field Director of BTR R P Saini
said.

During the tiger estimation exercise, scats were
collected to enable DNA profiling of tigers in the reserve,
but the exercise could not be completed due to rain and
another full-fledged exercise would be undertaken after the
monsoon, he said.

Describing the preliminary findings as "very
encouraging", he said it clearly indicated the presence of a
number of tigers in the BTR.

Asked to give the number of big cats in BTR, he said
although a detailed report about the number and gender of the
tigers was yet to be received, it could be anything between 12
and 16.

Questions were frequently raised about the presence of
tigers in BTR where a big cat was photographed for the first
time since its inception.

NTCA had identified Buxa as one of the reserves having
low density tiger population and constituted a special team
last year for urgent appraisal of the reserve.

He said that reports regarding preliminary findings were
submitted to the state government as well as the National
Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

Encouraged by the reports, the state government has
sanctioned Rs 30 lakh to the BTR for the development of
grasslands in the reserve, he said.

Saini said scats were also sent to `Aranyak`, an NGO
based in Assam, for analysis and their preliminary report. He
also said that 35 of the samples belonged to tigers.

He said that GPS positioning was recorded during the
scat collection and after receiving the detailed report camera
traps would be set up in areas with high tiger density.

BTR authorities had earlier toyed with the idea of going
in for captive breeding to maintain the tiger population.

Now they have decided to relocate nine villages from the
core areas of the reserve. The villages to be relocated
outside the core area are Jainti, Bhutiabasti, Gangutia,
Raimatang, Butrhi, Adma, Pana, 27 mile and 28 mile, he said.

The relocation would start anytime after funds were
received from the government for the purpose, he said adding
residents of eight villages had already agreed to opt for a
monetary package for relocation.

PTI

From Zee News

0 Comment - Join the Discussions