A landmark study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) says tigers living in one of India’s best-run national parks lose nearly a quarter of their population each year from poaching and natural mortality, yet their numbers remain stable due to a combination of high reproductive rates and abundant prey.
The study, which appears in the journal Ecology, underscores the need of maintaining protected areas with high prey densities in an overall tiger conservation strategy, along with anti-poaching efforts and eliminating trade in tiger body parts.
The nine-year study in India’s Nagarahole National Park found that an average of 23 percent of the park’s tigers either move away or die each year from either naturally or from poaching outside of the park, yet total numbers remained high.
"This study shows that even well-protected wild tiger populations have naturally high rates of annual losses, and yet do fine because of their high reproductive rates," said WCS researcher Dr. Ullas Karanth, lead author of the study. "The conservation implications of this study show that effectively protecting reserves to maintain high prey densities is a key pillar in an overall strategy for the conservation of tigers."
The research team, which included Dr. Karanth and Dr. Jim Nichols from USGS, used remote cameras to identify individual tigers and then accurately estimate population trends in the park. Tigers can produce between 3-4 cubs per litter every 2-3 years.
Unfortunately, in other parts of the tiger’s range, relentless poaching of the big cats and their prey has caused numbers to plummet. Another WCS study that appeared in a recent issue of the journal Animal Conservation revealed that tiger numbers in a protected area along the Laos-Vietnam border are severely depressed from commercial poaching, and prey depletion which may increase competition between large carnivores.
"The good news is that given the chance, tigers can replenish their numbers; the bad news is that they are not being given that chance in many parts of their range," said WCS’s noted big-cat researcher Dr. Alan Rabinowitz.
Earlier this year, WCS launched a new program called "Tigers Forever" that pledges a 50 percent increase in tiger numbers in key areas over the next decade.
Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!
International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
24.03.2017 | Life Sciences
23.03.2017 | Life Sciences