NEW DELHI: With poaching posing a big threat to tigers in the country, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) is in the process of devising an online tiger tracking system to check poaching.
The Management Information System (MIS) will provide real-time exchange of information among all the 47 tiger reserves and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) in case of incidents of poaching, seizures and other wildlife crimes.
Addressing the 10th meeting of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the MIS-based tracking would strengthen the WCCB and help in controlling wildlife crimes in tiger reserves. The system developed by WCCB will be launched in a couple of weeks.
Underscoring the importance of technology in the field of tiger conservation, Javadekar said that the use of National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) “Alert System” would also be utilised in case of disasters pertaining to fire and floods in tiger reserves.
The system gives a platform where all tiger reserves can come on the same wavelength through an online medium, access to which will be protected through use of password. The major advantage of the proposed system is that if any poaching incident were to be reported from one tiger reserve, then a message will be flashed to all the other tiger reserves which will be put on alert.
The minister said that today more than 50 per cent of tigers of the world in wild are in India and their numbers have come down to over 1,600. The NTCA is in the process of enumerating the tiger population and the census is expected to be completed by this year-end.
As per the 2010 census, there are 1,706 tigers in the wild in India. In 2013, 68 tiger deaths were reported while 40 tiger deaths have been reported so far this year. Many deaths happened due to poaching. The NTCA has also introduced Standard Operating Procedures (SoP) for rearing orphaned tiger cubs and re-introducing them into the wild.
The MoEF has also asked the states to propose protected areas as new tiger reserves and are hand-holding the states technically and financially to set up rapid response teams to save the big cats.