At least 67 sophisticated cameras installed in the Chitwan and Parsa sectors for the purpose of tiger census are missing.
These camera traps had been set up in the two sectors (complexes) in Chitwan and Parsa to track tiger movement have been lost. It is found that some of these cameras have been stolen by people and still others have been pulled down and smashed 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 him, 34 such cameras are missing in the first block of Parsa region. Similarly, 26 camera traps set up in the second block and seven in the third block are missing. It is found that in all 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 children also take away the camera traps thinking they are playthings since they are installed near the human settlements. People also carry them away because it is a new device.
Tiger movement is being monitored in Chitwan and Parsa national parks dividing them into three blocks as part of the Royal Bengal Tiger census that is simultaneously underway in Nepal and India since two months. Around 600 camera traps have been used for this purpose.