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Animal Corridors, Movement & Range Expansion

India Rishi Online

Sahyadri Tiger Reserve used by 8 tigers: Forest department
Although devoid of breeding tiger population which became locally extinct, the tiger is a was originally meant to accept the transients overflowing from Aadhar Tiger Reserves in the southern part of Sahyadri-Konkan Conservation Landscape

*This image is copyright of its original author

The Maharashtra forest department said the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve (STR) was being frequently used by 8 tigers. Nestled in the rugged terrains (350m-1,250m altitude gradient) of northern Western Ghats, STR spread over 1,166km² area is western Maharashtra’s only tiger reserve, comprising Chandoli National Park and Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary. It was declared a tiger reserve in 2008, butwith no permanent resident population. 

V Clement Ben, chief conservator of forest, Kolhapur and former field director of STR said, “Based on secondary data collection including scat analysis and model-based predictions for prey base per square km, we have identified the presence of eight tigers in STR. While the number is more than what the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had assessed in 2014 (five-seven tigers), this is not a resident tiger population. These are dispersing tigers but the data indicates habitat improvement and increase in prey base, thus allowing more tigers to move through this landscape.”

The details were shared by Ben after a research paper was published on Saturday in CATnews, a newsletter which is a component of the Species Survival Commission of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). While camera trap images of the tiger were captured in May 2018, the research paper jointly conceived by the state forest department and Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun was published after 25 months.

“STR is suitable to carry the capacity of resident wild tigers akin to tiger reserves in Vidarbha,” said Ben, a contributing author of the paper. He added, “This ecosystem can now sustain wild tiger population if translocation is experimented.”

WII scientists said there was a fear that tigers had become functionally extinct in this region since there were no photographic records since 2011. “Even though there are no resident tigers in STR currently, the one documented four times in camera trap images (May 22-24, 2018) had also dispersed through this region,” said Ramesh Krishnamoorthy, corresponding author of the paper and principal investigator, WII. He added, “Conservation efforts have led to an improvement in prey population, reduced human disturbances, and enhanced protection of fragmented forests.”

Currently, the data indicates the nine animals (wild boar, deer etc.) per sqkm. “It needs to be at least 15 or 16 to have a healthy resident population,” said Ben.

The findings of the research paper were part of the 10-year-monitoring and habitat development exercise of STR which started in 2016. A review of experimental tiger translocation would be taken later this year. “It can commence by releasing one male and one female,” added Krishnamoorthy.

The narrow boundaries of the reserve have fragmented forest cover owing to human habitation in the buffer as well as core areas. The reserve has dense and open forests, scrublands, barren areas, water bodies, and agricultural lands making it a unique ecosystem.

“Now, our attempt is to have social acceptance from villagers to be relocated from the core STR areas, and concentrate on habitat development to increase tiger presence,” said Krishnamoorthy who welcomed the forest department’s latest decision to declare the 29.53 sqkm area in Dodamarg, Sindhudurg as Tillari Conservation Reserve. “The protected area will act as a stepping stone for tiger source population from sanctuaries in Goa and Karnataka. We must also realise that while developing a conducive environment for more tigers at STR, protecting the entire Sahyadri range is crucial for the water security and recharge capacity for western Maharashtra,” he said.

Recently the Tillari Conservation Reserve was declared Upar a small patch of forest land that would act as a north-south corridor to bypass some mining areas;
(06-24-2020, 09:42 PM)BorneanTiger Wrote: Maharashtra reserves forest for elephants who came from Karnataka, in the area of Tillari in Sindhudurg District

A government notification said 2,953.38 hectares of forest land in Sindhudurg would be a "reserved forest" for "conservation of tiger, elephantand leopard". The 38-km-long Dodamarg wildlife corridor that connects Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary in Maharashtra to Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka frequently witnesses elephant and tiger movement.

Tilari is a forest located in the hilly ranges of Konkan-Western Ghats corridor:

*This image is copyright of its original author

Finally out!.. An interesting paper on Status of tiger in Sahyadri Tiger Reserve & connectivity issues in the larger Sahyadri landscape between Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka.

Recent record of tiger from Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, India
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India Rishi Online

Eastern Thailand tiger footage offers renewed hope for big cat population

*This image is copyright of its original author
 Justhine De Guzman Uy

1 week ago

Three Indochinese tigers inspect a camera trap under a tree in Thailand’s Dong Phayayen-Khao forest (Freeland Foundation

*This image is copyright of its original author

There is renewed hope for Asia’s wild tiger population with images from camera traps similar to those captured in the video above recording showing tiger cubs in Thailand’s Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai (DPKY) forest.

Published in Biological Conservation, the survey has provided conservationists and authorities with hope that the decade-old DPKY Tiger Recovery Project (TRP) may meet its goal of increasing the local tiger population by 50 per cent by 2026.

It is currently believed that there are only 221 Indochinese tigers in ASEAN — in Thailand and Myanmar — with local populations in Lao PDR, Vietnam, and Cambodia believed to already be extinct.
According to the researchers, the population density in the area of the study is only 0.63 tigers per 100 square kilometres (about 39 sq.miles) — much lower than other habitats.

*This image is copyright of its original author

A previous study in Thailand’s Western Forest Complex (WEFCOM) in Huai Kha Khaeng between 2005 and 2012 estimated a density ranging from 1.27 to 2.09 tigers per 100 kilometres.

While differences in study methodology makes exact comparisons difficult, there is at least suggestion of an improvement in the DPKY population.

Monitoring crucial to preventing local extinctions

For this study the researchers said they used a spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR) analysis. Yet, with few tigers out there, reliable results were difficult.
In this situation, they said simulations and the use of non-regular trap arrays may be beneficial.

Lead author of the study and a researcher with WildCRU, Eric Ash, said that to avoid local extinctions similar to those in Laos & Cambodia “monitoring is critical for managers to evaluate populations over time and determine the efficacy of conservation actions.

“It can also determine areas of conservation priority in which protection efforts can be focused”.

Classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List, Thailand’s tigers are under increasing pressure from agricultural reclamation, illegal logging, and poaching for tiger parts.
Everything not saved will be lost. - Nintendo 

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India Ashutosh Offline
Regular Member

There is a big debate ongoing in the conservation circles in India regarding the tigers living outside protected reserve especially in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra which officially has about 160 tigers (unofficially it’s close to 220). While Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is home to about 100 tigers, the district has another 70 living outside the reserve, some even estimate this figure to be 100-120.

There is a growing clamour to relocate these tigers to other protected landscapes. Chandrapur every year sees about 25 deaths and hundreds of livestock killed because of these tigers. Most of them are attuned to living with humans and pose no threat, but the tolerance is running low partly exacerbated by red tapism of govt. and slow payment of compensation.

There are some wildlife activists who are pro-translocation as they see it as a chance to populate other better landscapes and reduce the potential man-animal conflict in this one particular area. 

Activists opposed to this move say that translocating won’t matter as new tigers will take the place of old ones and it is observed that when translocated tigers don’t settle well in their new environment, they will cause new conflict elsewhere. Rather one should focus on improving corridors which have been fragmented.

This is such a delicate issue. Ideally, I agree with activists against the move, but, I don’t live there, so that always takes away from my point. But, realistically, the govt. should relocate these tigers (which will require NTCA to change their policy as they don’t translocate tigers who are no threat to humans) living on the fringes, but they need the medium to long term plan of developing corridors so that the scenario of new tigers replacing the translocated ones doesn't come to pass.
I am a tiny bit happy as well, not because this is a good problem to have, but, it’s a better problem than having to stave off extinction of tigers.
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