AboutZoos, Since 2008


Cam­era trap time stamps pro­vide valu­able data for tiger conservationists

pub­lished 20 May 2017 | mod­i­fied 20 May 2017

Tiger in Nagarahole Tiger ReserveSpa­tial capture-​recapture model analy­sis is often used to esti­mate tiger abun­dance. A new study led by Dr. Robert Dorazio of the United States Geo­log­i­cal Sur­vey, and co-​authored by Dr. Ullas Karanth of Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Soci­ety, how­ever, finds that dates and times of ani­mal detec­tions are often not fac­tored into the analy­sis. This is despite the fact that this data is avail­able when using “continuous-​time” recorders such as camera-​traps.

Dr. Robert Dorazio said, “Mod­el­ling cap­ture times of tigers and other large car­ni­vores uses all of the infor­ma­tion in the data and gives us a chance to learn more about the behav­iours and move­ments of these ani­mals — infor­ma­tion that is cru­cial to their conservation.”

A short video fea­tures Dr. Karanth dis­cussing how this study might change that think­ing and ben­e­fit sci­en­tists. Says Karanth: “We are now able to exactly incor­po­rate the time of cap­ture into the data analy­sis. This gives us more power to mimic nature in the sense of how tigers actu­ally get ‘trapped’ in cam­eras, and how their move­ment, behav­iour, and space-​use relate to time. This is a sig­nif­i­cant advance.”

Because 70 per­cent of wild tigers are con­cen­trated in less than 6 per­cent of remain­ing habi­tats, it is crit­i­cal to effi­ciently man­age these areas for tiger use.

The results of the studyA hier­ar­chi­cal model for esti­mat­ing the spa­tial dis­tri­b­u­tion and abun­dance of ani­mals detected by con­tin­u­ous line recorders,” are pub­lished on 17 May in the open access jour­nal PLOS ONE.

(Source: WCS news release, 17.05.2017)

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