SUBJECT :The much-awaited all-India tiger census starts on Monday and animal enthusiasts are waiting with bated breath to know the results 

While there is limited scope for citizens to volunteer this time, the Forest department has roped in volunteers from the eco-tourism board, wildlife volunteers and those from NTCA. PTI photo

By Bosky Khanna

Bengaluru, January 8, 2018: The much-awaited all-India tiger census starts on Monday and animal enthusiasts are waiting with bated breath to know the results.

Karnataka boasts of housing 406 tigers, the largest number in the country. "We hope that the population has reduced, even if there is no increase," said Forest minister Ramanath Rai.

Speaking to DH, Somashekar, southern region head of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), said the census was being done at different periods in different places. However, in south India it is being held simultaneously to ensure that there is no duplication and error.

He said it will be difficult to say whether the population has increased or come down in Karnataka.

Somashekar said, for the first time, camera traps were being placed outside forest areas too, in territorial divisions. Around 10% more cameras are being added. The forest officials are also using M-stripe method to count the big cats and document them.

He said all states have been given time till June to complete assessments, census and tabulation and send their report to NTCA.

While there is limited scope for citizens to volunteer this time, the Forest department has roped in volunteers from the eco-tourism board, wildlife volunteers and those from NTCA.

A senior forest official said it was advantageous to have the census during weekdays as this ensures that those volunteering are serious about conservation and are not visiting the forest to take photographs.

The state has five tiger reserves, namely Bandipur, Bhadra, Nagarahole, Dandeli-Anshi (Kali) and BRT.

The Forest department has closed the safaris at these reserves for visitors during the census, so that the staff can focus on the job at hand.


Source: Deccan Herald