Studies to determine presence or absence of the Indian tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) in Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary, India
A decade back, almost 300,000 km2 of forests in India were estimated to be potential tiger habitat. But consistent degradation and unsustainable anthropogenic pressures have adversely affected tiger presence in most of the forests outside the better protected tiger reserves. Here we use Geographic Information System data to analyze the degree of vegetation loss and landscape changes over the last decade (1998–2006), and ascertain the presence of tigers in a degraded forest like the Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh, India, by non-invasive fecal DNA analysis. Vegetation cover maps show a clear degradation of the sanctuary within a decade. DNA analysis of scat samples reveals tiger presence in areas where closed dense forest canopy has persisted with minimal human disturbance during the last decade.
KeywordsGIS Tiger Fecal DNA Degraded forest
- Chundawat RS, Gogate N, Johnsingh AJT (1999) Tigers in Panna: preliminary results from an Indian tropical dry forest. In: Seidensticker J, Christie S, Jackson P (eds) Riding the tiger: tiger conservation in human-dominated landscapes. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 123–129Google Scholar
- Karanth KU, Nichols JD (2002) Monitoring tigers and their prey: a manual for researchers, managers and conservationists in Tropical Asia. Centre for Wildlife Studies, BangaloreGoogle Scholar
- Thapar V (2006) The last tiger: struggling for survival. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 192–193Google Scholar
- Wikramanayake ED, Dinerstein E, Robinson JG, Karanth KU, Rabinowitz A, Olson D, Matthew T, Hedao P, Conner M, Hemley G, Bolze D (1999) Where can tigers live in the future? A framework for identifying high priority areas for the conservation of tigers in the wild. In: Seidensticker J, Christie S, Jackson P (eds) Riding the tiger: tiger conservation in human dominated landscapes. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 255–272Google Scholar