USAID’s Bagh Activity (a project implimented by WildTeam) is working closely with the Forest Department to complete the camera trap data analysis tentatively by August 2017 to acquire information required for tiger monitoring in Satkhira range of the Sundarbans.
The Forest Department in collaboration with Bagh conducted the camera trap survey in Satkhira range from 1 December 2016 to 15 March 2017. The goal of the study is to estimate the density (number of tiger/100 sq. km) of tigers in Satkhira range to detect changes in tiger density over time. The monitoring system will also serve to measure tiger habitat improvements in response to management intervention.
The data extracted from the cameras installed in 290 camera trap stations (two cameras in each station covering a 5-sq. km grid) are being analyzed in the Resource Information and Management System (RIMS) unit of FD. A total of 1,451 photos of tigers were extracted from the cameras that covered an effective survey area of 2,723 sq km. The photos were graded based on picture quality to identify individual tigers using their stripe patterns.
The FD formed a committee on April 3 comprising experts from both the FD and Bagh to carry out the data analysis. All information was stored in a worksheet and then a capture history and trap layout were created for data analysis using Spatial Explicit Capture-Recapture (SECR) in R (a software environment for statistical computing and graphics). A study area map was also created using GIS to separate habitat and non-habitat and to calculate the land area used by the tigers for their daily movement.