DNA sampling for tiger census in Sunderbans
Kolkata: The West Bengal government for the
first time will conduct tiger census through DNA sampling of
the animal's scat in Sunderbans in January next year.
Till now, pug marks were used to count the tigers, but
there was always controversy regarding the veracity
During the 2006 census, the state government had rejected
the Indian Statistical Institute's claim that there were not
more than 70 tigers in Sunderbans, the world's largest delta.
"Sunderbans is not like Buxa or any other tiger reserve.
The terrain here is very difficult and requires a special
method. So we will go for DNA sampling which will be used for
the first time to estimate the number of tigers," Sunderbans
Biosphere Reserve (SBR) director Pradeep Vyas told agencies.
The census would be held in January and February next
year. DNA profiling of the tiger's scat will be done to count
the animals, he said.
"It will provide the exact number of big cats in the
mangrove habitat. We are sure we can do it," Vyas said, adding
that lightweight 'tiger guards' would be provided to the scat