Saw this pugmark while doing survey in NSTR. Its a cheer to encounter a pugmark in field, if I dont see animal thats normal because then i know “it” is smart enough to escape the vigilant eyes and is keeping itself safe. But its sad we are encroaching their land and more and more getting intolerant to their presence too.
Well the pugmark though exciting to search in field has helped us to understand the felids since long. Pugmark of animals were used as conventional method to count tigers.Though initiation to tiger estimation is credited to waterhole census (1930’s in Palamau, Orissa). Then Pugmark method around late 1960’s which was introduced by S.R.Choudhary again in Orissa which came to be known as Co-operation Tiger census.The first tiger census 1972 utilized this method’s modification – pugmark census technique. The 1980’s saw the new techniques of cameratrapping for census (introduced by Ullas Karanth) which was more advanced, robust method to estimate tigers. Though cameratrap was not new to India as F.W.Champion pioneered it in shiwalikhs to capture animals with use of tripwire in 1920s. In late 2000’s,Tiger estimation also started utilizing DNA profiling.
So our cameratrap census resulted 1411 tigers in 2006, 1706 in 2010 and 2226 in 2015 (though its just numbers but the status of animal is juggling with these figures).
Though till date cameratrapping has been credited to be most robust estimation method of tigers in India. As saying goes stripes wont lie, footprint might!
(BTW the pugmark here is not of tiger……as i said footprint might lie 😉 )