April 22, 2021 5:16:55 am
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, alongwith the Haryana forest department on Wednesday urged local residents to assist them in a first-of-its-kind monkey count through a free mobile application, ‘Wildlife Census Haryana’, in the state for the state wildlife census, 2021.
The mobile application can be downloaded through the Google Play Store. The count will held from April 28 to 30. WII alongwith the forest department fixed the timing of the census as 5.30 am to 10 am, and 5 pm to 7 pm.
IFS, ML Rajvanshi, state coordinator for the annual census, said, “The app is equipped with GPS. It will automatically read the location of the handler. The handler simply needs to fill the counts of monkeys, their sizes along with the time of sighting and if possible the gender of macaques. The census is merely focused on Haryana. We will only use Haryana-related feedback in the census through this application.”
The application was designed by Dr Bilal Habib, PhD, senior scientist with WII, Dehradun. Rhesus macaques are protected under Schedule 2 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Haryana is among many states where the rise in monkey population has led to a rise in incidents of human-animal conflict.
Districts prone to such conflict include Panchkula, Yamunanagar, Ambala, Hisar, Kurushetra, Bhiwani, Kaithal, Gurugaon and Faridabad.
Earlier, authorities had decided to put an option of uploading the pictures of monkeys in the application.
The idea was dropped later as this would make the app too heavy.
The Haryana Wildlife Census 2021 started in the state on April 12. It is being held in two phases including preparation and training, and execution. The census will conclude on July 30.
A team of WII headed by the senior researcher Athar Noor is in the state for the same.
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