Nepalese scientists are embarking on a project to help animals
, specifically Bengal tigers, by examining their waste for genetic information. The AFP reports that the data will be collected and entered into the world's first DNA database of the endangered tiger.
Bengals are the most common kind of tiger and account for about half of the entire global tiger population, but they are endangered due to poachers and forest destruction, according to National Geographic.
"The whole idea is to scoop all the poop and get a genetic database of all the tigers in Nepal," CMND researcher Diwesh Karmacharya told the AFP. "In the past, they used pugmarks - which are the footprints - and then they started using individual cameras... They both worked really well, but the information you get is not too detailed. You won't be able to tell more than how many tigers you have in the area of the survey."
The study will not only inform researchers how many tigers there are in Nepal, but it will also allow them to learn the sex of the creatures. The project is part of a larger Nepalese goal to save animals
and attempt to double the number of Bengal tigers. It is believed that few more than 100 adult tigers are living in Nepal.