KERI: Maharashtra's forest department says it has used a camera trap technique to study the natural habitat as well as the movements of the big cat in the Tillari reservoir and succesfully captured images of three tigers.
The Tillari region, bordering Goa and Maharashtra, has a water reservoir nestled amidst lush green patches of forest with a thriving population of herbivorous animals favouring visits from carnivorous animals like tigers, leopards and other animals.
Speaking to TOI, B S Shinde, range forest officer, Dodamarg forest range, Maharashtra, said "We got camera trap images of tigers Our authorities have told us to keep the information about the images confidential for the safety and security of the big cats. The tigers are in the region ranging from Chorla ghat in Karnataka and Goa to Kendre of Tillari. They come into this region due to the availability of ample food and water."
Ramesh Kumar, deputy conservator of forests, Sawantwadi division said, "Our officials were successful in securing camera trap images of tigers in the area of the Tillari reservoir. The images indicate the presence of three tigers."
Recently a team of wildlife biologists under the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, supported by Centre for Wildlife Studies called for immediate intervention for protection and conservation of the tigers and other species of wild animals in the landscape spanning 6,000 sq km that is part of the Sahyadri-Konkan corridor.
Tbis area covers the Koyna wildlife sanctuary, Chandoli national park and Radhanagri wildlife sanctuary along with the Tillari region as the rate of landscape modification and fragmentation is breaking forest contiguity and isolating protected areas for the large carnivores, the study found.
Using the same camera-trap method in 2013, through an initiative undertaken by range forest officer Paresh Porob, with a Wildlife Conservation Society-Bangalore (WCS) team, Goa's forest department captured images of a tigress relishing a wild boar in Dongurli inside the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary.
This year, Goa's forest department and WCS installed camera traps, but have not confirmed any results.The WCS team is currently engrossed in a camera trap project in the Bhimgad wildlife sanctuary, Karnataka.