Nationwide tiger census kicks off with more cameras, mobile app

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NEW DELHI: The largest survey of wildlife anywhere in the world has kicked off. Over the next few months, the all-India tiger census 2018 will use more technology, including a mobile app, with more intensive ground coverage and a higher focus on the northeast to determine the country’s big cat numbers.
The last census, in 2014, had estimated India’s tiger population at 2,226, up from 1,706 in 2010. Most experts expect the growth trend to continue. The results are likely to be announced early next year.

The basic census methodology – double sampling based on ground-based surveys for tiger signs and actual images captured on camera-traps, along with statistical extrapolation – remains unchanged. First introduced in 2006 after the previous “pugmark” surveys were found woefully inaccurate, the double sampling method had estimated India’s big cat numbers that year at just 1,411, ringing alarm bells around the world.

Giving details of this year’s exercise,…

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