In the All India Tiger Estimation 2018, the government used Stripe Pattern Recognition software for conducting tiger census in the country.
The country now has an estimated 2,967 tigers as per 2018 census. With this number, India is home to nearly 75% of the global tiger population. The country has also fulfilled its resolve of doubling tiger numbers, made at St. Petersburg in 2010, much before the target year of 2022.
Camera traps (outdoor photographic devices fitted with motion sensors that start recording when an animal passes by) were placed in 26,838 locations across 141 different sites and surveyed an effective area of 121,337 square kilometres. In total, the camera traps captured 34,858,623 photographs of wildlife (76,651 of which were tigers and 51,777 were leopards; the remainder were other native fauna). From these photographs, 2,461 individual tigers (excluding cubs) were identified using stripe pattern recognition software.
The fourth cycle of the All India Tiger Estimation 2018 entered the Guinness World Record for using the world’s largest camera trap wildlife survey. The assessment also conducted extensive foot surveys that covered 522,996 km of trails and sampled 317,958 habitat plots for vegetation and prey dung. It’s estimated that the total area of forest studied was 381,200 square km and cumulatively the collection and review of data equated to some 620,795 labour-days.
There is hardly any parallel of such a focused species oriented program like Project Tiger across the world, which started with 9 Tiger Reserves, with 50 tiger reserves currently.