India is set to launch its first tiger database that will contain footage from camera traps, DNA samples and tiger stripe information from across the country, reported The Times of India. The Wildlife Institute of India signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Tiger Conservation Authority on Saturday to this effect. Senior scientists YV Jhala and Qamar Qureshi will head the cell.
The tiger information cell will get live information and digital mapping of patrolling from tiger reserves with the help of the M-STrIPES software. The programme works on a mobile application and is GPS-enabled. Patrolling guards will be instructed to use the app on their phones when they are doing their rounds. This will help the forest department identify the areas that are neglected.
"The guards will have to record their observations of the day during patrolling on the mobile app. This way, the signs such as bonfire, snare, tree felling etc recorded by guard with site images will indicate about vulnerability of the specific areas for poaching and, measures can be taken in time," Jhala told the newspaper. The data will be automatically shared with the respective park director and chief wildlife warden.
WII director VB Mathur said, "The work done by WII in realm of tiger conservation will be institutionalised through Tiger Cell, where we will formalise our relationship with NTCA and sustain funds for tiger projects. It will be a national repository of tiger images, will arrange help in poaching activities and management."