Indian and Russian scientists discuss methods for studying tigers in their two countries

Indian and Russian scientists discuss methods for studying tigers in their two countries

12 July 2011

From May 23 to 27, 2011, Sergei Naidenko, Ph. D. (Biology), a leading research associate at the Russian Academy of Sciences' Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, was in India with a Russian delegation led by Vladimir Kirillov, head of the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources (Rosprirodnadzor). The delegation was there to discuss issues related to the study of the Amur tiger in Russia and India.


The scientists discussed monitoring and tiger population protection issues, and tiger research in both countries. Meetings on these issues were also held at the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India and the Jim Corbett National Park.


The Russian delegation visited the National Tiger Conservation Authority and was acquainted with specific methods for monitoring the tiger population in India, various methods for registering traces of tigers' vital activity across their natural habitat, as well as the use of integrated approaches for monitoring India's tiger population.


The scientists noted positive changes in India's tiger population which amounts to 1,700 individuals at present. Materials on a new video observation system were also presented, which Indian scientists plan to use to monitor tiger and poacher movements along national park boundaries. Wireless video signal transmitters make it possible to install cameras up to eight kilometres away from control centres.


The discussion at the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India focused on tiger research, as well as tiger reintroduction and rehabilitation projects. Scientists looked at different types of collars used to track tigers in India and Russia, as well as both countries' approaches and methods for genetic tiger research.


Representatives of the Indian side told their Russian colleagues about the reintroduction of tigers in two national parks of India through their relocation from other areas, and the successful release of a male tiger raised in captivity.


In turn, Indian researchers learned about a programme for studying the Amur tiger population in Russia's Far East and related research projects. They were particularly interested in the Russian scientists' experience in rehabilitating orphaned tigers, assessing their physiological state through non-invasive methods and studying the spread of various tiger diseases in Russia's Far East.


Following discussion, the two sides drafted a plan for subsequent cooperation to study and preserve tiger populations in both countries.