India’s 2018 Tiger Census sets a new Guinness World Record for being the world’s largest on-camera wildlife survey
New Delhi: The 2018 Tiger Census of India has now made it to the Guinness World Records for being the world’s largest on-camera wildlife survey.
Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar termed it as a great achievement and tweeted, “The All India Tiger Estimation is now in the #GuinnessWorldRecord for being the largest camera-trap #wildlife survey, a great moment indeed & a shining example of #AatmanirbharBharat !”
In the fourth cycle of the All India Tiger Estimation 2018, it was estimated that the Indian tiger population jumped from 2,226 in 2014 to 2,967 in 2018. This data was released by PM Narendra Modi and it made India one of the most secure and biggest habitats for the wild cats in the world.
According to the Guinness World Record team, the fourth edition of the census, in 2018-2019 was one of the “most comprehensive” to date. This is in terms of both resource and data amassed, added the team.
Camera traps were placed in 26,838 locations across 141 different sites which surveyed an area of 1,21,337 sq kilometres. These camera traps are outdoor photographic devices that are fitted with motion sensors that start recording whenever an animal passes by it.
A whopping total of 3,48,58,623 photographs were captured of which 76,651 were that of tigers and 51,777 were leopards. The remainders were some other wildlife. From these 76,651 tiger photographs, a total of 2,461 individual tigers (excluding cubs) were detected using stripe-pattern-recognition software as stated by the team.
Along with camera traps the assessment even conducted foot surveys that covered 5,22,996 km of trails and sampled 3,17,958 habitat plots for vegetation and prey dung.
Additionally, this assessment was carried out over three phases. The various datasets were then combined to be extrapolated via statistical computation. This then informed the final results which are published in the survey reports.
Both the ground survey and camera traps recorded the major tiger presence in forests across 20 Indian states of Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka. These three states were home to 1,492 tigers.