Camera trapping used for first time in tiger census
Camera trapping method has been used for the first time in the
ongoing tiger census in the Namdapha National Park in Changlang district
of Arunachal Pradesh. “This is the first time the camera trapping method
has been used for tiger estimation in Namdapha. All past tiger census
were carried out using pug mark and other methods,” park director S. J.
Jongsam told The Hindu.
Tiger census is being held in Namdapha National
Park in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
Picture courtesy: The Hindu
Aaranyak, a society for biodiversity conservation, has installed the
cameras and is footing the bills of its volunteers engaged in the work.
Wildlife biologist Firoz Ahmed of Aaranyak said that about 100 cameras
had been installed.
“The image capturing will continue till March end and after about 40
days of trapping, the cameras will be brought back for analysis and
estimation,” said Ahmed, who is also a member of National Tiger
He said tigers, leopards and clouded leopards were found in Namdapha.
Some claim to have also seen snow leopard in the reserve.
Namdapha was declared a National Park and a tiger reserve in 1983.
The park, spread over 1,985 sq.km, is facing tough conservation
challenges due to lack of adequate manpower to deal with the tremendous
hunting pressure and targeted poaching, timber felling and other
Only 15 forest guards and seven foresters are patrolling the park,
most areas of which are inaccessible and cover areas bordering China and
Myanmar. Namdapha's altitude varies from 500 ft. at Miao to 15,020 ft.
According to the 2001-02 Census, the Reserve recorded the presence of
61 tigers. Park officials claim that an estimation done in 2011 using
pug mark method showed the presence of eight tigers. Park authorities
hoped the camera trapping method would reflect a correct estimate of
The 157-km-long Miao-Vijaynagar road through the national park was
motorable till 1976, but it has since fallen into disrepair.
Vijaynagar, on the fringes of the park, is completely at the mercy of
nature. There are no roads and electricity for the over 6,000 people
living in 13 recognised villages and one unrecognised village. The only
alternative to air transport is a six-day trek of the thick jungles
through Namdapha to reach Miao, the nearest town.
An attempt was made to rebuild the road, but the construction was
hampered by frequent landslips and disruption in supplies of material
The district authorities are now trying to build an alternative road
to Vijaynagar via Nampong, which will be more than 200 km-long.
Courtesy: The Hindu