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Saturday, 26 December 2020

Chandigarh plans wildlife census next year

Dushyant Singh Pundir

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25

To prepare an inventory of wild animals, the UT Forest and Wildlife Department has planned to carry out wildlife census in the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary in March/April next year.

First census held a decade ago

  • The first wildlife census was carried out in the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary a decade ago.

  • A team of experts from the Wildlife Institute of India, environmentalists, representatives of NGOs and biology and zoology students from Panjab University took part in the first census held in 2010.

"We are in touch with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, to carry out the census in March or April next year," said Debendra Dalai, Chief Conservator of Forest and Chief Wildlife Warden, UT.

It would take nearly a week to complete the exercise, he said, adding that the second census could not be carried out in March/April this year due to the pandemic and Covid-induced lockdown in the country.

The first wildlife census was carried out in the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, spread over an area of 26 square kilometres in the catchment area of the Sukhna Lake, a decade ago.

Being season specific, the second wildlife census could not be carried out this year as the best period to spot animals had passed, said Dalai, adding that it was difficult to locate animals in other seasons.

A team of experts from the WII, environmentalists, representatives of NGOs and biology and zoology students from Panjab University took part in the first census held in 2010.

Leopards were not sighted: Report

As per the first census report prepared by the WII, the population of sambar in the sanctuary was between 1,000 and 1,200 and that of peafowl between 900 and 1,100. However, leopards were not sighted directly, but their footmarks were found.

The team took three days to count nine species of mammals and 65 species of birds by using direct evidence, including animals and birds spotted in the area, and indirect evidence such as footprints and animal faeces. As per the first census report prepared by the WII, the population of sambar in the sanctuary was between 1,000 and 1,200 and peafowl population was between 900 and 1,100. However, leopards were not spotted directly, but their footmarks were found.

Main animals spotted in the sanctuary include sambar, chital, pangolin (anteater), wild boar, jackal, small Indian civet, jungle cat, porcupine, Hanuman langur, rhesus monkey, Indian hare, common mongoose and three-striped palm squirrel.



from The Tribune https://ift.tt/38vsHOE

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