May 13 (PTI) As many as 62 tigers were sighted during the annual waterhole census conducted on May 10 at the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Chandrapur. The Census done on the ‘Buddha Purnima’ day was conducted both in core and buffer areas of the Tiger reserve amid elaborate arrangements made by the forest department, said an official release issued by TATR in Chandrapur on Friday.
The waterhole census, also known as ‘Machan’ census is conducted annually on the occasion of ‘Buddha Purnima’ wherein wildlife enthusiasts along with forest staffers catch a glimpse of the wildlife seated on a ‘machan’ (an elevated structure). The ‘machans’ are located near waterholes in the core and buffer zones of the Reserve, where animals come to quench their thirst during scorching summer.
There are 82 ‘machans’ in the core zones and 109 in the buffer zones near the waterholes and most of it are permanent structures, it said.
According to the release, 62 tigers were sighted during this census. Of the 62 tigers, 35 were spotted in the core zone, and the remaining 27 in the buffer zone. The census commenced on the morning of May 10 at about 10:30 AM and concluded the next day around the same time. A forest department staffer accompanies volunteers on each ‘machan’ for identifying variety of wild animals and their gender for tabulating the sightings accurately in a chart.
Besides tigers, a total of 4,497 other wild animals were sighted during the census in core zone spread over Tadoba, Kolsa and Mohari forest ranges. The other wildlife sighted during census included Leopards – 10, Four-horned Antelope (Chousingha) – 19, Chital (spotted deer)– 1240, Sambar – 640, Blue bull (Neelgai)– 54, Indian gaur – 417, Barking deer – 147, Sloth bear – 54, Wild Dogs – 35, Toddy cat– 43, Honey badger– 1, and other herbivores.
In addition, 2,737 other wildlife sighted in the buffer area spread over Palasgaon, Shivni, Chandrapur, Mul, Khadsangi and Moharli ranges. It included Leopard – 9, Barking deer – 77, Sloth Bear – 78, Chital – 476, Sambar – 185, Blue bull – 83, Indian Gaur – 376, Chousinga – 1, Toddy Cat – 11 and other wild animals, the release stated.