The four-day lion census got over Tuesday afternoon with more than 2,200 forest staffers, officers and volunteers completing field trips in an area spread over 22,000 square kilometres (sq kms) to count members of the only wild population of endangered Asiatic lions in the world. Forest officers said Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel will declare results of the census on May 10.
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Enumerators and officers completed the task of scanning the lion territory in Junagadh, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Gir Somnath, Porbandar and Botad and Rajkot districts final census which had begun at 2 pm on Monday came to an end at 2 pm on Tuesday. These districts cover Gir forest, other protected areas and swathes of revenue areas. The primary census was conducted from 2 pm on Saturday to 2 pm on Sunday.
“The physical exercise of counting lions has got over and our teams are returning to their respective base. Zonal and sub-zonal officers will report to census coordinator at Sasan Gir tomorrow and will submit census data they have collected,” a top forest officer told The Indian Express on the condition of anonymity.
The officer said that enumerators have marked presence of lions on physical maps that they carried and tagged the big cats on electronic maps by using Global Information System (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS).
“Now, the census data will be analysed we shall carry out deduplication from census unit level. Chief Minister Anandiben Patel will declare results of the census in Sasan-Gir on May 10,” the officer further said.
The 2010 census had estimated the population of Asiatic lions in Gir forest and other areas to be 411.