Tiger Spotted In Tiger-less Palamau After 3 Years, Will It Make A Difference?
- Ayodhya Prasad Singh
- Published on 24 Mar 2023, 3:37 pm IST
- 3 minutes read
- A tiger was sighted in trap camera in Palamau Tiger Reserve (PTR), Jharkhand after a gap of three years.
- Presence of two tigers was confirmed last year through scats and in 2020, a tigress was found dead in Betla range.
- The big cat is believed to have come from Chhattisgarh and might be reclaiming territory ceded in 2014.
- From 71 tigers in 1995, PTR saw the numbers dwindle to just three in 2014. Last tiger here was spotted in 2020.
- Tiger seen in camera after live captured by IFS Kumar Ashutosh in Palamu
When the camera traps of Palamau Tiger Reserve (PTR) captured a Tiger last week, it was celebration time for Jharkhand’s only tiger reserve. After all the national animal was spotted alive in the national park after three years. Chief conservator of forest and Field director of PTR and 1998-batch IFS officer Kumar Ashutosh himself captured the moment on his camera from a distance of 15 meter only.
Earlier, the last sighting in camera traps in PTR was in January, 2020. When a tigress had been seen for 2 months, but latter she died. Though, last year in January, two tigers were detected through scats and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) confirmed it. But, there was no direct sighting of them in cameras.
WII does not consider the pug marks as a confirmation of tiger presence rather it is only confirmed through camera traps or scats. Speaking with Indian Masterminds, Mr. Kumar Ashutosh said, “There are three tigers in this forest, of which one has been captured on camera. We will send the images and evidence to National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for its inclusion in the Tiger Census report.”
He said there are a good number of tigers in Chhattisgarh, so some may be travelling to Jharkhand, PTR, to mark territories.
This tiger came to PTR on March 16-17 from the corridor through Chhattisgarh-Jharkhand border as there is continuous forest across the two states. The sub-adult male was spotted in the Kutku range of the PTR. Forest official received information about the tiger’s presence after it killed an ox on January 17. Later three more cattle killings were reported. It was later captured on camera trap and then, PTR (North) deputy director Prajesh Jena and Kumar Ashutosh captured him live on their phones.
More than 40 camera traps have been installed. Continuous monitoring is underway. Mr Ashutosh said, “Tiger basically needs food, water and good habitat to thrive. There is no shortage of water here even in summer.Water from the rivers reaches here through many streams. So we hope he becomes a permanent resident here.”
WHY NO TIGER IN PTR
According 2018 tiger census, NTCA has declared that there was no big cat in the reserve. So, how did the tigers vanish from PTR? “As tiger cubs grow up, they separate from the mother and chart their own course marking their territory. Also, tigers have only 15 year’s lifespan. That’s why many move while marking their territory and some die,” he added.
The PTR, spread over 1,129 sq.km., has eight ranges, Betla, Kutku, Bareysanr, Chhipadohar East, Chhipadohar West, Garu East, Garu West and Mahaudanr, started with around two dozen tigers in the early seventies.
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