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Tracking Tigers

Join Bishnu Bahadur Lama, chief wildlife officer of Nepal’s National Trust for Nature Conservation, and his team of researchers, volunteers and scouts—including WWF staff—as they seek tigers and prey in Nepal.

  • pointing at map

    1. Marching Orders

    To divvy up tasks and plot the day’s exact route, the team studies a map divided into five 1½ square-mile grids.

  • people looking at camera

    2. Gear Check

    Team members select cameras equipped with motion sensors and pack compasses, range finders, measuring tape and datasheets.

  • attach camera to tree

    3. Camera Setup

    Camera traps are mounted on wooden poles spaced 26 feet apart, where they will collect photos for 15 days.

  • back of camera

    4. The Tiger Walk

    A team member does the “tiger walk” on all fours; the photographs are then checked to ensure the cameras are properly set.

  • rulers on ground

    5. Scouting Steps

    Tiger tracks, called pugmarks, are photographed and described in detail during a “habitat occupancy survey.”

  • walking on beach

    6. Walking the Line

    Using a compass to mark the path, team members walk a transect line nine-tenths of a mile long, noting prey species like hog deer.

  • stop watch

    7. In the Details

    From a known point on the transect line, the compass provides an exact bearing on where prey was sighted.

  • people taking notes

    8. Final Checks

    After 10 hours on their feet, weary team members report in, head back to camp, and trade stories over the evening meal.

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