A new project known as The Prusten Project is working hard to learn more about tiger roars and potentially use them for conservation purposes.
It would appear that the sound every tiger makes is unique to them. Moreover, the sounds made by male and female tigers are distinguishable.
"What we have discovered with our research is that tiger voices can be used like a fingerprint for individuals, like a vocal fingerprint as unique as you and I," said senior mammal keeper Courtney Dunn.
Building off of that, tigers make all different kinds of noises based on the situation they’re in. For example, they might make a shorter roar when they intend to intimidate another animal, or use a long and drawn-out roar when they’re in search for a mate. Based on the hesitation, grunts, snorts, and other features of a tiger’s roar, the different sounds have meaning.
With this kind of information at the ready, scientists are ready to start using tiger roars as a means of keeping tabs on the species and helping to protect them from threats.
They have already begun recording the roars of zoo-kept Bengal, Malayan, Sumatran, and Amur tigers with high-quality digital recording equipment with the intention of playing them aloud in the wild.
About ten zoos are already participating in The Prusten Project, and at least ten more are expected to join in on the project at a future date.
A computer application will be devised that can filter between the different tiger noises and deploy them in necessary scenarios. It’s believed that the sounds can be used to help induce mating, catch poachers, and even to grab more accurate population numbers.
Dunn notes that the tiger sounds could be deployed throughout India within the next year, and perhaps Indonesia and other locations in the future afterwards.
It should be interesting to see if this project can be used as a means to protect the species successfully or not.
Source: The Prusten Project via Phys.org