Gariyaband (Chhattisgarh) [India], November 30 (ANI): The presence of a new tiger has been confirmed in Udanti-Sitanadi Tiger Reserve after a camera trap captured the tiger roaming about in the reserve in Chhattisgarh's Gariyaband district, a forest official has said.
The forest department has obtained the image of the tiger that appeared in two different trap cameras installed in the area for 25 days.
Pug marks (footprints) and faeces have been sent for DNA testing to ascertain that the tiger is new, according to Varun Jain, Deputy Director of Udanti Sitanadi Tiger Reserve.
The forest department got the last picture of a tigress in 2019 in the reserve. "In the preliminary report, the picture and pug marks of the tiger show it is a male tiger. The DNA test of faeces samples of the tiger is yet to be done. After the test, the gender of the tiger will become clear," Jain said.
"Besides, there is a possibility of more tigers and tigress to be found in the reserve. We have sent three scat samples (stool of tiger) to the WII (Wildlife Institute of India) in the past year. The reserve has a good habitat for tigers," the official said.
The DNA sequencing reports are expected by February or April next year and only after that the gender and number of the tigers in the reserve can be ascertained, Jain said.
According to a circular of National Tiger Conservation Authority, the Udanti-Sitanadi Tiger Reserve includes the total area of Udanti & Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuaries.
The Core I (Udanti) of the Tiger Reserve was declared as Udanti Wildlife Sanctuary in 1984 by the then undivided Government of Madhya Pradesh.
In Core 2 Sitanadi, it contains various types of forest crop and mixed Sal forest. Some areas have several Teak plantations and sample plots.
The circular further reads that all the representative faunal species of Central India are found in both the Core areas of Udanti-Sitanadi Tiger reserve. Asiatic Wild Buffalo is the key endangered species found in the Core Area. Apart from the tiger, other endangered and rare species are Indian Wolf, Leopard, Sloth Bear and Mouse Deer.
Mentioning about the tiger status, the report states that the area has good habitat for the apex predator. Several indirect evidences in the form of scat, kill or pugmarks are found in the Core Area. In 2010 country level assessment, shows an overall low density of tigers in the Udanti-Sitanadi-Sunabeda Landscape. (ANI)