Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Forest Department will be conducting an annual monitoring of tiger population in The Nilgiris district as per the protocols established in the Madumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR), officials said on Wednesday.
Addressing media persons, Conservator of Forests, and Field Director, MTR, D. Venkatesh, said: “The Nilgiris landscape, including MTR, Sathyamangalam, Nagarhole, Bandipur and Wayanad has the third highest tiger population anywhere in India, which is spilling over into the surrounding Nilgiris division. As a result, we have decided to conduct yearly monitoring of the population, similar to monitoring of the population in MTR.”
He said that other than the death of a tiger in Emerald Village in Kundah, suspected to be due to poisoning, the other tiger deaths were due to natural reasons including fights.
“While we suspect that all six cubs belonging to two tigresses were abandoned, the other three tigers died due to fight with other tigers. Tigers are known to even cannabalise young cubs and tigresses are known for abandoning cubs. We suspect that this is what happened with the most recent deaths of four cubs. However, we will continue our search for the tigress to ensure that she is safe.”
He said that the department will set up anti-poaching camps in Kundah, Korakundah, Udagai South, Naduvattam, Parsons Valley and Pykara ranges surrounding the Mukurthi National park. Camera traps are to be fitted and forest staff have already undergone one session of training to monitor and count the tigers in the division.