67 camera traps used for tiger census missing in CNP, PNP

RATNANAGAR, CHITWAN: At least 67 sophisticated cameras installed in the vicinity of Chitwan and Parsa national parks for the purpose of tiger census are missing.

The lost camera traps had been set up in the two sectors in Chitwan and Parsa to track tiger movement. It has been found that some of these cameras have been stolen by people while others have been pulled down by wild elephants.

Assistant conservation officer at the Chitwan National Park (CNP), Nurendra Aryal said, "Some people carry these camera traps home after coming across them out of curiosity. We also suspect that many camera traps might have been stolen by smugglers."

According to Aryal, 34 such cameras are missing in the first block of Parsa National Park. Similarly, 26 camera traps set up in the second block and seven in the third block are missing. As many as 25 cameras have been trampled by elephants while two have been carried away by tiger and 40 by people.

Three camera traps taken away by people have been returned.

Assistant conservation officer and information officer of the Parsa National Park, Ashok Ram said that children also took them away presuming the camera traps installed near the human settlements as playthings. People also carry them away because it is a new device that might have piqued their interest.

Tiger movement is being monitored in the parks dividing them into three blocks as part of the Royal Bengal Tiger census that is simultaneously being conducted in Nepal and India for the past two months. Around 600 camera traps have been used for this purpose.