Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Estimating the abundance of Nepal's largest population of tigers Panthera tigris

  • Jhamak B. Karki (a1), B. Pandav (a2), S. R. Jnawali (a3), R. Shrestha (a4), N. M. B. Pradhan (a4), B. R. Lamichane (a3), P. Khanal (a4), N. Subedi (a3) and Y. V. Jhala (a2)...

Abstract

Information on the abundance of tigers Panthera tigris is essential for effective conservation of the species. The main aim of this study was to determine the status of tigers in Chitwan National Park, Nepal, including the Churia hills, using a camera-trap based mark–recapture abundance estimate. Camera traps (n = 310) were placed in an area of 1,261 km2 from 20 January to 22 March 2010. The study area was divided into three blocks and each block was trapped for 19–21 days, with a total effort of 3,582 man-days, 170 elephant-days and 4,793 camera-trap nights. The effectively camera-trapped area was 2,596 km2. Camera stations were located 1.5–2 km apart. Sixty-two tigers (age ⩾ 1.5 years), comprising 15 males, 41 females and six of unidentified sex, were identified from 344 photographs. The heterogeneity model Mh (jackknife) was the best fit for the capture history data. A capture probability ( $\hat P$ ) of 0.05 was obtained, generating a population estimate ( $\hat N$ ) of 125 ± SE 21.8 tigers. The density of tigers in the area, including Churia and Barandabhar (buffer zone forest linked with mid hill forest), was estimated to be 4.5 ± SE 0.35 tigers per 100 km2, using a Bayesian spatially explicit capture–recapture model in SPACECAP. Our study showed the use of Churia by tigers and we therefore conclude that the Chitwan tiger population serves as a source to maintain tiger occupancy of the larger landscape that comprises Chitwan National Park, Parsa Wildlife Reserve, Barandabhar buffer zone, Someswor forest in Nepal and Valmiki Tiger Reserve in India.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Estimating the abundance of Nepal's largest population of tigers Panthera tigris
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Estimating the abundance of Nepal's largest population of tigers Panthera tigris
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Estimating the abundance of Nepal's largest population of tigers Panthera tigris
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

(Corresponding author) E-mail jbkarki@gmail.com

References

Hide All
Baral, H.S. & Upadhyay, G.P. (2006) Birds of Chitwan, 4th edition. GoN Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Participatory Conservation Programme II and Bird Conservation Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Barlow, A.C.D., McDougal, C., Smith, J.L.D., Gurung, B., Bhatta, S.R., Kumal, S. et al. (2009) Temporal variation in tiger (Panthera tigris) populations and its implications for monitoring. Journal of Mammalogy, 90, 472478.
Bhuju, U.R., Shakya, P.R., Basnet, T.B. & Shrestha, S. (2007) Nepal Biodiversity Resource Book: Protected Areas, Ramsar Sites, and World Heritage Sites. ICIMOD, MoEST, Kathmandu, Nepal.
BPP (Biodiversity Profile Project) (1995) Biodiversity profile of the Terai/Siwalik physiographic zones. Publication No. 12. Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Carter, N.H., Shrestha, B.K., Karki, J.B., Pradhan, N.M.B. & Liu, J. (2012) Coexistence between wildlife and humans at fine spatial scales. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109, 1536015365. Http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1210490109 [accessed on 13 October 2012].
Chauhan, D.S., Harihar, A., Goyal, S.P., Qureshi, Q., Lal, P. & Mathur, V.B. (2005) Estimating Tiger Population using Camera Traps in Ranthambore National Park. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, India.
Dinerstein, E., Loucks, C., Wikramanayake, E., Ginsberg, J., Sanderson, E., Seidensticker, J. et al. (2007) The fate of wild tigers. Biosciences, 57, 508514.
Edds, D. (1986) The Fishes of Royal Chitwan National Park. Department of Zoology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, USA.
Efford, M. (2009) DENSITY 4.4.1.2 Spatially Explicit Capture–recapture. University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Gopal, R., Sinha, P.R., Mathur, V.B., Jhala, Y.V. & Qureshi, Q. (2007) Guidelines for preparation of Tiger Conservation Plan. A technical document of the National Tiger Conservation Authority. Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India, New Delhi, India.
GTRP (Global Tiger Recovery Program) (2010) Global Tiger Recovery Program 2010–2022. Http://www.globaltigerinitiative.org/download/St_Petersburg/GTRP_Nov11_Final_Version_Eng.pdf [accessed October 2012].
Gurung, K.K. (1983) Heart of the Jungle: the Wildlife of Chitwan, Nepal. Andre Deutsch, London. pp. 197.
Harihar, A., Pandav, B. & Goyal, S. P. (2006) Monitoring tiger and its prey in Chilla Range, Rajaji National Park, Uttaranchal, India. Research Report No. 06/001. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, India.
Inskip, C. & Zimmermann, A. (2008) Human-felid conflict: a review of patterns and priorities worldwide. Oryx, 43, 1834.
Jhala, Y.V., Gopal, R., & Qureshi, Q. (eds) (2008) Status of Tigers, Co-predators and Prey in India. National Tiger Conservation Authority, New Delhi, India and Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, India.
Jhala, Y.V., Qureshi, Q. & Gopal, R. (2011a). Can the abundance of tigers be assessed from their signs? Journal of Applied Ecology, 48, 1424.
Jhala, Y.V., Qureshi, Q., Gopal, R. & Sinha, P.R. (eds) (2011b) Status of the Tigers, Co-predators, and Prey in India, 2010. National Tiger Conservation Authority, New Delhi, India and Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, India.
Karanth, K.U. (1995) Estimating tiger Panthera tigris populations from camera-trap data using capture-recapture models. Biological Conservation, 71, 333338.
Karanth, K.U. & Chellam, R. (2009) Carnivore conservation at the crossroads. Oryx, 43, 12.
Karanth, K.U. & Nichols, J.D. (1998) Estimation of tiger densities in India using photographic captures and recaptures. Ecology, 79, 28522862.
Karanth, K.U. & Nichols, J.D. (2000) Ecological status and conservation of tigers in India. Final technical report to the Division of International Conservation, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC and Wildlife Conservation Society, New York, USA. Centre for Wildlife Studies, Bangalore, India.
Karanth, K.U. & Nichols, J.D. (eds) (2002) Monitoring Tigers and their Prey: A Manual for Researchers, Managers and Conservationists in Tropical Asia. Centre for Wildlife Studies, Bangalore, India.
Karanth, K.U., Bhargav, P. & Kumar, S. (2001) Karnataka Tiger Conservation Project. Wildlife Conservation Society, New York, USA.
Karanth, K.U., Nichols, J.D., Kumar, N.S., Link, W. & Hines, J. (2004a). Tigers and their prey: Predicting carnivore densities from prey abundance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 101, 48544858.
Karanth, K.U., Chundawat, R.S., Nichols, J.D. & Kumar, N.S. (2004b). Estimation of tiger densities in the tropical dry forest of Panna, Central India, using photographic capture–recapture sampling. Animal Conservation, 7, 285290.
Karki, J.B., Jnawali, S.R., Shrestha, R., Pandey, M.B., Gurung, G. & Thapa (Karki), M. (2009) Tigers and their Prey Base Abundance in the Terai Arc Landscape, Nepal. Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and Department of Forests, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Kawanishi, K. & Sunquist, M.E. (2004) Conservation status of tigers in a primary rainforest of Peninsular Malaysia. Biological Conservation, 120, 329344.
KMTNC/NCRTC (King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation/Nepal Conservation and Research Training Centre) (2001) Tiger monitoring in and around RCNP. Final report submitted to WWF–Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal.
McDougal, C. (1977) The Face of the Tiger. Rivington Books, London, UK.
McDougal, C. (1999) You can tell some tigers by their tracks with confidence. In Riding the Tiger: Tiger Conservation in Human-dominated Landscapes (eds Seidensticker, J., Christie, S. & Jackson, P.), p. 190. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Mishra, N., Karki, J.B., Pokharel, C. & Thapa, K. (2008) Tiger monitoring in Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve. Unpublished report for Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve, Kanchanpur, Nepal.
Nichols, J.D. (1992) Capture–recapture models: using marked animals to study population dynamics. Bioscience, 42, 94102.
O'Brien, T.G., Kinnaird, M. & Wibisono, H.T. (2003) Crouching tigers, hidden prey: Sumatran tiger and prey populations in a tropical forest landscape. Animal Conservation, 6, 131139.
Otis, D.L., Burnham, K.P., White, G.C. & Anderson, D.R. (1978) Statistical inference from capture data on closed animal populations. Wildlife Monograph, 62, 1135.
Rexstad, E. & Burnham, K.P. (1991) Users Guide for Interactive Program CAPTURE. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, USA.
Royle, J.A., Nichols, J.D., Karanth, K.U. & Gopalaswamy, A.M. (2009) A hierarchical model for estimating density in camera-trap studies. Journal of Applied Ecology, 46, 118127.
Schaller, G. (1967) The Deer and the Tiger. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.
Seber, G.A.F. (1982) The Estimation of Animal Abundance and Related Parameters. Macmillan, New York, USA.
Seidensticker, J. (2010) Saving wild tigers: a case study in biodiversity loss and challenges to be met for recovery beyond 2010. Integrative Zoology, 5, 283299.
Shah, K.B. & Tiwari, S. (2004) Herpetofauna of Nepal: A Conservation Companion. IUCN, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Sharma, R., Stuckas, H., Bhaskar, R., Khan, I., Goyal, S.P. & Tiedemann, R. (2011) Genetically distinct population of Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) in Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) of India. Mammalian Biology, 76, 484490.
Singh, P., Gopalaswamy, A.M., Royle, A.J., Kumar, N.S. & Karanth, K.U., Mukherjee, S., et al. (2010) SPACECAP—A Program to Estimate Animal Abundance and Density using Spatially Explicit Capture–Recapture.
Smith, J.L.D. (1993) The role of dispersal in structuring the Chitwan tiger population. Behavior, 124, 165195.
Smith, J.L.D., Wemmer, C. & Mishra, H.R. (1987) A tiger geographic information system: the first step in global conservation strategy. In Tiger of the World: the Biology, Biopolitics, Management and Conservation of an Endangered Species (eds Tilson, R.L. & Seal, U.S.). Noyes Publications, Park Ridge, USA.
Smith, J.L.D., Ahearn, S.C. & McDougal, C. (1998) Landscape analysis of tiger distribution and habitat quality in Nepal. Conservation Biology, 12, 13381346.
Smith, J.L.D., McDougal, C., Ahearn, S.C., Joshi, A. & Conforti, K. (1999) Metapopulation structure of tigers in Nepal. In Riding the Tiger: Tiger Conservation in Human-dominated Landscapes (eds Seidensticker, J., Christie, S. & Jackson, P.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Sunquist, M.E. (1981) The social organization of tigers (Panthera tigris) in Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Smithsonian Contribution to Zoology, 336, 198.
Tamang, K.M. (1982) The status of the tiger (Panthera tigris) and its impact on principal prey populations in Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal. PhD thesis. Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA.
Thapa, T. (2011) Habitat suitability evaluation for leopard (Panthera pardus) using remote sensing and GIS in and round Chitwan National Park, Nepal. PhD thesis. Saurashtra University, Rajkot, India.
Thompson, W.L. (2004) Sampling Rare or Elusive Species: Concepts and Techniques for Estimating Population Parameters. Island Press, Washington, DC, USA.
Walston, J., Robinson, J.G., Bennett, E. L., Breitenmoser, U., da Fonseca, G.A.B., Goodrich, J. et al. (2010) Bringing the tiger back from the brink—the six percent solution. PLoS Biology, 8, e1000485. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000485.
Wang, S.W. & Macdonald, D.W. (2009) The use of camera traps for estimating tiger and leopard populations in the high-altitude mountains of Bhutan. Biological Conservation, 142, 606613.
Wegge, P., Pokharel, C. & Jnawali, S.R. (2004) Effects of trapping effort and trap shyness on estimates of tiger abundance from camera trap studies. Animal Conservation, 7, 251256.
Wegge, P., Odden, M., Pokhrel, C.P. & Storaas, T. (2009) Predator–prey relationships and responses of ungulates and their predators to the establishments of Protected Areas: a case study of tigers, leopards and their prey in Bardia National Park, Nepal. Biological Conservation, 142, 189202.
White, G.C., Anderson, D.R., Burnham, K.P. & Otis, D.L. (1982) Capture–recapture and Removal Methods for Sampling Closed Populations. Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, USA.
Wikramanayake, E., Dinerstein, E., Forrest, J., Loucks, C., Seidensticker, J., Klenzendorf, S. et al. (2010) Roads to recovery or catastrophic loss: How will the next decade end for wild tigers? In Tigers of the World: the Science, Politics, and Conservation of Panthera Tigris, 2nd edition (eds Tilson, R. & Nyhus, P.). Elsevier/Academic Press, Oxford, UK.
Wikramanayake, E., Dinerstein, E., Seidensticker, J., Lumpkin, S., Pandav, B., Shrestha, M. et al. (2011) A landscape-based conservation strategy to double the wild tiger population. Conservation Letters, 4, 219227.
Williams, B.K., Nichols, J.D. & Conroy, M.J. (2002) Analysis and Management of Animal Populations. Academic Press, San Diego, USA.

Keywords

Estimating the abundance of Nepal's largest population of tigers Panthera tigris

  • Jhamak B. Karki (a1), B. Pandav (a2), S. R. Jnawali (a3), R. Shrestha (a4), N. M. B. Pradhan (a4), B. R. Lamichane (a3), P. Khanal (a4), N. Subedi (a3) and Y. V. Jhala (a2)...

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed