The Global Tiger Forum (GTF) will push India’s robust tiger estimation method in five Southeast Asian countries to boost the big cat population. Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Myanmar are the five countries earmarked by the GTF for pushing India’s methodology.
The method will be introduced in a workshop to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in November. Established in 1994, GTF is the world’s only intergovernmental organisation dedicated to tiger conservation. The GTF membership includes seven tiger range countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal and Vietnam.
Administrative officer of the forum GS Lam said, “A robust methodology is needed to estimate global tiger population. For this, we will advocate estimation method followed by India before the five participating countries.”
In India, the rigorous estimation is carried out every four years by Dehradun based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) with the help of non government organizations.
The global estimation of tigers in 2016 is 3900, a slight increase from 3200 in 2010.
Countries like Bhutan and Nepal are already following the similar “robust pattern” of estimation. It is currently doing camera trapping and has trained most of its staff to conduct the exercise. “Camera trapping and other intensive methods that have been adopted here are followed in Nepal. The country has got good results by following the process,” Bivash Pandav, a scientist at WII who has worked with Nepal forest department from 2007-2012, said.
Senior tiger expert at WII, Qamar Qureshi said, “Countries try to keep away from this kind of estimation as it does not necessarily come out with big figures. Once this jinx is broken, they would understand value of this process in counting tigers and thereby protecting the species.”