Spike in tourism causing stress to tigers in India: Study

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New Delhi: Vehicular traffic in protected areas has caused stress to tigers in India and it has adversely affected the process of reproduction in big cats.

A study said that increase in tourism has become mostly responsible for this.

The study which was published in Conservation Physiology, dwelt upon the relationship between anthropogenic substances and physiological stress levels in tiger populations in protected areas. It was published at the Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology’s Laboratory for Conservation of Endangered Species.

A team of researchers led by Principal Scientist Dr G Umapathy considered fGCM, a stress marker among tigers, as the focus of their study. The team collected 341 fecal samples from Bandhavgarh and Kanha reserves during tourist and off-peak seasons for such purpose.

The stress levels of tigers during the tourism period which lasts for nearly 9 months are considerably high, the study said and added that fecal samples of the same tigers from the same location raised alarms with respect to the stress of these predators.

Dr Umapathy claimed that his team of researchers has managed to distinctly correlate the number of vehicles entering the tiger reserves to the rise in stress levels.

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