By Dominick Mezzapesa
In 1972, when prime minister Indira Gandhi committed her government to bring tigers back from the brink, her officials created what they called “pugmark census”
The idiodic census they created was to identify every wild tiger from its paw-prints. Using this process their math said that tiger numbers grew to more than 4,000 by 2004.
But in 2005 after two high-profile reserves that the pugmark census said we're to have large tiger populations had in fact NONE, the pugmark census was discredited and discarded.
As in every country when something is finally revealed to be idiotic (Even if everyone already new) Government officials suddenly denounced their own approach as “trash,”
In this day an age with GPS, the internet, tracking collars, remote cameras what does India do.... Of course, they turned to an obsolete statistical method from the 1930s.
Three ‘national tiger estimation’ surveys have been completed (in 2006, 2010, and 2014). Each involved 90,000 man-days of labor spread over 400,000 sq km of forests and at a cost of $1.2million Dollars to Indian taxpayers. Armies of poorly trained foot soldiers collected a bewildering array of data, including tiger photos from automated camera traps, as well as counts of tiger tracks and droppings.
Yes, you read that sentence correctly, in the 21st century, we are relying on uneducated, simpletons running around the jungles of India picking up tiger poop.
After all this data (Including the poop) was gathered India instead of telling the world what their three surveys found, steadfastly refuses to even give a hint of it's findings.
All India has said is that between 2006-2010 the tiger's habitat has shrunk by almost 22% but their population has grown a robust 16% over those few years. Of course, this defies logic, but it's no more logical than a group of tribal people running through the jungle with zip lock bags picking up tiger shit.
Unless India actually wants to join the 21st century there is no way to tell what the Tiger population or their status is at the present time. It's still amazing to watch country after country refuse to say "We need help in this area" There is an old saying "pride goeth before a fall" but unfortunately India's pride will be paid not by