Monitoring of Tiger Populations in the Central Indian Tiger Landscape

Maintaining connectivity between tiger populations/Tiger Reserves/Protected Areas can decrease the rate of local extinctions and loss of genetic diversity. Additionally, looking at the average home range estimates of tigers and the size of Protected Areas, the future of tiger conservation and recovery is highly dependent on tiger habitats outside Protected Areas.

Identifying forest blocks outside Protected Areas to ensure habitat connectivity for tigers is critical. It is important to plan conservation policies at the landscape level where both Protected Areas and corridors are given equal importance.

This project seeks to upgrade the status of key tiger-bearing forest blocks outside Protected Areas in the Central Indian Landscape, through systematic, long-term monitoring of tigers and diet analysis to collect data on their densities and population dynamics in the region. Scientific analysis of the data collected thus, is proving to be crucial for influencing the larger tiger conservation policy framework at the landscape and national level. Other objectives include building the capacity of forest staff and other stakeholders in monitoring tiger populations outside Protected Areas; enabling the use of individual tiger-level data in human-tiger conflict resolution; assisting in planning mitigation measures for linear infrastructure; and monitoring dispersal of tigers.

Camera trapping surveys from this project allow us to study the tiger populations as well as the extent of human pressure on these forests. The objective of this data analysis is to develop a data-driven policy report to identify the key ecological drivers of human-wildlife conflict in the various sites in the Central Indian Landscape and provide actionable insights to the government from our long-term tiger monitoring project.

WCT’s Conservation Research team is engaged in the following activities pertaining to the project:

  • Camera trap surveys to estimate tiger densities.
  • Scat collection for diet analysis to determine prey selection and the tigers’ dependence on livestock outside Protected Areas and along corridors.
  • Capacity building among the frontline forest staff in monitoring tiger populations.