HULI – Technology to the Frontline of Tiger Conservation
With the coming of BRT Tiger Reserve into the Tiger Reserve fold, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has stipulated an annual monitoring of Tigers in the Reserve. This annual monitoring (Phase IV) is an intensive and scientifically rigorous exercise which aims to understand the dynamics of the Tiger population in the reserve.
The objective of the Phase IV exercise is to, at the least, obtain a minimum number of tigers in a Tiger Reserve, and also estimate the tiger population size and prey densities in a reserve using spatially-explicit capture-recapture approaches using software tools.
the Phase-IV protocol of NTCA contains six components:
(a) Maintaining daily patrolling log
(b) Carrying out beat-wise monitoring of sign encounters twice a year
(c) Recording from Pressure Impression Pads
(d) Obtaining minimum tiger number using camera traps
(e) Obtaining tiger numbers using camera traps (40-60 days closure period)
(f) Obtaining minimum tiger numbers through DNA analysis from Scats
The preparatory work for the Phase IV monitoring has been put in place in BRT Tiger Reserve. Staff have been trained on various components. Camera trapping results by frontline staff has enthused them because many of them are able to actually see the tigers in their jurisdiction rather than the indirect signs they encounter during the course of their duties everyday.
Technology for the Tiger – Solar lighting for interior forest rest houses
With the location of Forest Rest Houses being deep inside the Tiger Reserve, basic essentials like lights after dark become a luxury. BRT Tiger Reserve has many such interior forest rest houses, some are basic, some are adequate above all there is an old world charm mainly due to the aesthetic of architecture and location. The thrill of being in an interior forest rest house is incomparable, there is nothing like sleeping in the dark and hearing various animals call from all over. However the harsh realities of the dark of having to spend some time after dusk necessitates the use of lights and BRT Tiger Reserve has clearly equipped with the latest technology of using Solar Power to power the guest houses entirely. The entire lighting solution comes from Solar power. ReAP Bangalore led by the young G.V.Srinivas has provided a custom made solution where the aesthetics and ergonomics are not compromised. Sometimes the best high-tech does not work because the wildlife really does not differentiate between high tech and low tech, with previous experiences of losses of wiring frequently to rats Considering this menace the wiring runs from rodent proof casings.
The Holy Grail of any field level conservation unit is the Walkie talkie, this must have gadget is the single most useful unit which helps in all conditions and situations, but the protection teams work in deep forests with no access to power, this is where the Solar Walkie talkie chargers come in. ReAP Technologies has been working on this unit for long in close co-ordination with the Forest Department for over 6 years.
this refined piece of technology is not just a simple solar charger but a world in its own. Capable of charging multiple cell phones along with Walkie talkies. Interestingly it has been woven into the daily lives of the frontline staff that a basic necessity of looking at oneself in the mirror also gives them a chance to remind them to charge their equipment.