Monitoring the Wildlife

Monitoring the wild denizens of Nameri is one of the important task undertaken at regular intervals by the the park management. The outcome of monitoring exercises helps us to evaluate the effectiveness of various management interventions implemented and provides an insight to the population status of wild animals.

Prior to the introduction of camera trap based monitoring at tiger reserve level, wild animals were monitored using techniques like total count and pugmark methodology. As a result, barring the presence/absence information on certain key species like Tiger, Asian elephant even the basic data about population status, distribution of several endangered and key species of the park like the tiger, clouded leopard, Asiatic wild dog and their prey base was unavailable.

(Field staff looking for tiger signs)

With the introduction of phase IV tiger monitoring program in 2012 by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), we have been using the following components of phase IV protocol for wildlife monitoring in Nameri Tiger Reserve.

(a) Maintaining daily patrolling log
(b) Carrying out beat-wise monitoring of sign encounters twice a year
(c) Recording from PIP
(d) Obtaining minimum tiger number using camera traps
(e) Obtaining tiger numbers using camera traps (40-60 days closure period)

As per the preliminary results, the population size of tiger, the top predator of Nameri -Pakke landscape is between 8-15 with a density estimate of 1.38 tigers per 100 sq km.

(Field staff involved in camera trap setting)

Other interesting findings include presence of sympatric carnivores like common leopard, clouded leopard, wild dog and rare wild cats like golden cat, marbled cat, leopard cat and jungle cat. Existing data suggests that currently the population size of these is very small.

A unique feature of our camera trap based monitoring program is that the entire exercise starting from study design, implementation and data analysis has been carried out indepdently by the park officials by using 'Free software' like QGIS, GRASS, Ubuntu, Libreoffice.

Further details regarding monitoring program can be accessed here