Genetic evidence of Tiger population structure and migration within an isolated and fragmented landscape in Northwest India
Majority of the tiger habitat in Indian subcontinent lies within high human density landscapes and is highly sensitive to surrounding pressures. These forests are unable to sustain healthy tiger populations within a tiger-hostile matrix, despite considerable conservation efforts. Ranthambore Tiger Reserve (RTR) in Northwest India is one such isolated forest which is rapidly losing its links with other tiger territories in the Central Indian landscape. Non-invasive genetic sampling for individual identification is a potent technique to understand the relationships between threatened tiger populations in degraded habitats. This study is an attempt to establish tiger movement across a fragmented landscape between RTR and its neighboring forests, Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary (KPWLS) and Madhav National Park (MNP) based on non-invasively obtained genetic data.