Mataki Tags – The study of tiger energetics

This new and recently developed Mataki tags technology is a tracking technology to record the daily activity and movements of tigers in the wild. The data collected by the tags can be downloaded remotely from a distance causing less human disturbance. (The software is being developed under open source principals to encorage collaboration on further development)

Indian tiger in Kanha 2014

Indian tiger in Kanha 2014 © Chris Carbone

Working alongside the existing government-approved project, where tigers are being captured for GPS tracking in Kanha National Park, Mataki tags will provide the monitoring team with much more detailed information than the standard GPS collars.

Ultimately this should provide insights into how tigers respond to different habitat conditions and how prey availability might be linked with behaviour. The team will investigate how habitat change and human disturbance influence tiger activity patterns, which will help conservation scientists understand the implications for tiger survival in the wild.

The first trip to Kanha National Park by the research team took place in February 2014 when two tigers, a male and female were tagged over a five day period.

Tracking the tiger Kanha 2014

Tracking the radio collar Kanha 2014

 

The study is the first of its kind to track wild tigers in such detail, recording complete daily activity patterns, range of behaviours and hunting techniques.

The project can subsequently be scaled up to explore patterns of movement and behaviour in other tiger populations, for example in Nepal and other sites in India.

More information on Mataki Tags

 

Read the trip report here