The increasing importance of forest corridors for tigers
Scientists from 5 Indian institutes have carried out a detailed study of genetic variation in a sample of India's tigers. In particular concern has been raised over the comparitively isolated tiger population of Ranthambhore where the risk of inbreeding due to their isolation from tigers in other areas is great. 60% of the world's population of wild tigers is found in India and apart from poaching and habitat loss the fragmentation of the various tiger populations is a huge concern for the future of this majestic animal. The study group discovered 3 lineages of tigers in the country which were the northwest cluster (consisting only of tigers from Ranthambore), southern (south India) and central (comprising tigers from the Terai, northeast and central India). The study showed that the least genetic tiger population were found at Ranthambhore while the highest genetic diversity were in the central part of India which was most connected between tiger reserves. More on this most important and interesting study can be read by following the link to the report in The Hindu.