Researchers who have radio collared two tigers at the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) situated near Nagpur, hope to collect important scientific data that will highlight some unknown facts about these big cats. Scientist Dr Bilal Habib from Wildlife Institute of India (WII), who had radio collared a female tigress Tara and a male tiger Gabbar last year, aims to study how tigers and tigresses choose their respective preys. Researchers also plan to collar two leopards and dhole (wild dog) in the same area to know how tigers, leopards and dholes move in the same area.
Radio collared tigers at TATR. pic/Pallavi Ghaskadbi
Habib told sunday mid-day, “We want to get details of what kind of preys do tigers and tigresses prefer. We want to study this aspect as there’s a huge difference between the body weight of a tiger and a tigress. Tara’s weight is 85 kg while Gabbar’s weight is 185 kg.”
How do the collars function?
Researchers can track the tigers’ movements, their location and activities through bi-directional radio collars. “These collars help us track an animal whenever we want through a remote device,” added Habib. Tara was collared on October 15, 2014 while Gabbar was collared on October 17, 2014. In the initial months when the tigers were radio collared, their locations were taken after every five hours along with the exact time and the area where they were moving.
From the third week of January, researchers started noting down their location after every two hours. Last week the time has
been reduced to an hour. Within the next few days, the tigers will be tracked after every 10 minutes.
625 square km Core forest area
1,100 square km Buffer forest area
70-80 Approximate tigers in TATR
Cost of the project
The project is called as long-term monitoring of tigers, co-predators and prey species in TATR and adjoining landscapes. In 2013, the state government had cleared the R1.64 crore project to be implemented by WII on 70:30 cost-sharing basis between the state government and National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), a statutory body under the ministry of environment, forest and climate change