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Karnataka: Forest department gears up to begin tiger census

In Chamarajanagar district, which houses three tiger sanctuaries — MM Hills Tiger Reserve (the latest addition), Bandipur Tiger Reserve and Biligiriranganatha Temple Tiger Reserve — the forest department is hoping to record a rise in the numbers.

Written by Aksheev Thakur | Bengaluru |
Updated: October 16, 2021 6:41:11 pm
tigerThe census has already begun in MM Hills. (Representational image)

Several divisions, except one which has already begun the process, of the Karnataka Forest Department are gearing up to begin the tiger census from the last week of October.

In Chamarajanagar district, which houses three tiger sanctuaries — MM Hills Tiger Reserve (the latest addition), Bandipur Tiger Reserve and Biligiriranganatha Temple Tiger Reserve — the forest department is hoping to record a rise in the numbers. The census has already begun in MM Hills.

Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF) V Yedukondalu said camera traps have been set up at MM Hills Tiger Reserve. “As many as 250 officials in my division have been deployed to carry out the census. In phase one, we will collect field data in which we will note down the direct and indirect signs of the carnivore. In the second phase, on the basis of images captured by cameras, we will estimate the number of tigers. This will be done for 25 days.”

The DCF also stated according to estimates, there are 25 tigers in the new reserve.

MM Hills also shares borders with Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, Biligiriranganatha Tiger Reserve and Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu, which often leads to migration of tigers to the other state. Yedukondalu also believes that the location of the tiger reserve will act as a bridge between the Western and Eastern Ghats.

Meanwhile, in Kali Tiger Reserve (KTR), the camera trap survey has been completed and the sign and line transect surveys will be taken up soon. KTR falls in the three districts of Belagavi, Dharwad, and Uttara Kannada. The number of tigers in this reserve is expected to reach 30.

Vijaykumar Gogi, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden, said no volunteers are being involved in carrying out the census presently.

In the Tiger Census 2018, Madhya Pradesh emerged as the Tiger State of India with 526 big cats, followed by Karnataka with 524 Royal Bengal Tiger population and Uttarakhand with 442 tigers.

 

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