With the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) beginning to maintain DNA profiles of tigers inhabiting various national parks and wildlife reserves of Nepal, finding the origins of tigers killed by poachers is likely to be made possible, provided that their parts, like skins and bones, are seized by police.
"We can conduct similar tests after each seizure to find out precisely where the poachers killed tigers." However, DNA profiling of Nepal´s tigers is still in an early stage.
"Even if they know some of them, it is hard to reach the bottom." Karki says poaching activities can be curbed effectively if DNA profiles of all tigers can be maintained.
"We seize tiger parts every now and then," says SSP Uttam Karki, deputy chief of Central Investigation Bureau (CIB), a wing of the Nepal Police that has proved to be an effective mechanism against wildlife trade.
According to reports, this grant by Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) will help World Wildlife Fund (WWF) double Nepal's wild tiger population by 2022 (next Chinese Year of the Tiger), create tiger corridors, protect core areas for tiger breeding, prevent poaching, monitoring and helping communities.
Though Goyal said only further analysis will throw light on the historical events that isolated a part of central Indian tiger population to Sundarbans, he believes that increase in urbanization and agricultural areas are the main triggers.
A study by Wildlife Institute of India (WII) scientist SP Goyal and researchers Sujeet Kumar Singh and Sudhanshu Mishra claimed that historical events, change in the land-use patterns and human pressure have isolated the Sundarbans tiger population from that of central India.
Assistant principal chief conservator of forests Srinivasan confirmed the arrest of the poachers and said the wildlife crime team was investigating the case.
Though the forest department never went beyond poaching of five tigers, officially the toll seems to have touched nine if recorded statements and offences are considered.
“Achieving this goal in the context of ongoing urbanisation and need to sustain current economic growth exerts enormous pressure on the remaining tiger habitats and emerges as a big challenge to conserve wild tigers in the Indian subcontinent.” Adult tigers live cramped in the country now within less that 7 per cent of their historical range.
“While the former can sanitise the corridor for tigers to migrate into KTR and other conducive places, the latter would effectively check poaching to make life easier for the wild animals especially the prey base of tigers,” opines Imran Siddiqui of the HyTICOS.
The Hyderabad Tiger Conservation Society (HyTICOS), which is actively involved in keeping the stray tigress in ‘sight’, wants the government to post a FRO each for manning the tiger corridor areas and for coordinating anti-poaching efforts of the Department in the district.
ow picture scaling this up — to a hundred elephants, a hundred thousand, a million. That is the upshot of the poaching explosion of recent history. And while safari hunting at least represents, however perversely, an appreciation for the total majesty of the animal, this massacre implies a different valuation of elephants altogether, one where their whole worth is in the ivory they grow.
Sources said that the accused will face stringent punishment if it is proved that the claws were indeed that of a tiger, as it would imply that the wild cat was killed by poachers.
Pulak Lahiri, former Nilratan Sarkar Professor of Zoology at Calcutta University, said: "Geologically, Sundarbans doesn't have a history as old as central or northern India, so it's possible that the mangroves' tigers have isolated from central India landscape." Scientists believe while an animal isolated for a period of one million years can be classified as a different species, one that's genetically isolated for 20,000-50,000 years can be termed as a different sub-species.