Sunday, November 1, 2015

Pug Mark Impression Pad

Pugmark Impression Pad or PIP is one of the most useless practice adopted by forest department. They just don't gain anything from it.  This is a practice from older days when staff use to try to recognise the pugmark of an individual Tiger. Now it is just counted the pugmark of a tiger male or female. No one has any clue that if there is a male pugmark here then which male? 
By this method number of tigers remain the same while tigers goes missing.
Today afternoon I was with a guide who saw a Tigress opposite siddhbaba in Tala zone last year. he and driver wasim saw the female while tourists saw cubs running on hills.
This tiger was never seen with cubs again while her cubs pugmarks were seen in Chakradhara last year.
So where these cubs gone?
In a similar case last year Tulsi lost her one of the cub which was never seen again, Wakeeta lost her one cub and one is with her now but the third cub is missing and no one knows his/her whereabouts.
Her cubs from last litter is not seen in park area so they are also treated as missing.
Mukunda male who came to Bhadrashila area from Mukunda is missing since last season. Two cubs of Hemi from previous litter are missing.
There are so many people walking in the park in the name of Patrolling but none could find the dead body of these missing tigers.
All these people on foot and on bicycle are more of a disturbance to tigers than anything else.These people needs to patrol the periphery of the park from outside.
This constant presence of human being in there area must have affected their predation habit. Now we very rarely see any Tiger walking on road.
Some of the young cubs are still not habituated with the presence of these foot patrolling staff so they runs away for safety. 
These foot patrolling staff needs to check all the PIP to report the pugmark. Who compile those datas? No one then why we are wasting so much manpower on this very unproductive practice?


Debasis Bose said...

A very valid article/blog nicely written. Wish FD reads these articles/blogs, which has been written with passion and frustration. After being in touch with many forest department people, understand that both PIP and Camera Trap (CT) methods leaves FD with a doubt because they both can't get all the tigers caught. There is another method to estimate the number of tigers and that is by applying Mathematics of Probability and Statistics. However, if PIP and CT are used in tandem with spat sample DNA analysis it will provide with distinct number of tigers present in the area. To confirm the data, after about a week or 10 days, the same procedure needs to be undertaken again and then using the data's one can finally arrive to estimated number which may be closer to reality.
I have a suggestion, whenever any tourist or naturalist or driver sights an animal and photographs, they should be encouraged and motivated to mention that at the gate with photograph as evidence. When such data is collected and analysed over a period, I am sure a realistic figure of all the denizens of the forest can be very well estimated.
Also, the estimated number of predators can be cross checked with the Prey population in that region. Especially tiger population found to be proportional to the Prey population.
Lastly, PIP keeps people employed and that may be one of the reason being continued without realizing that it may be causing more harn than good and mentioned in your blog.

Bandhavgarh said...

These things were easy when it was done by forest staff. Now it is all done by the labour who has no interest in recognizing their tigers. For them all tigers are male and female. It suits to forest department too because if one male goes second one comes and their record stays intact with male.
PIP is useless activity and so the trap camera because they dont use two cameras at one spot to get the both sides of the tiger for identity.
I doubt things will change. They will remain as they are or may be worst to present. I dont see that dedication in present staff and thats the main thing that's making a big change in field.