NGOs will be allowed during tiger census

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NGOs will be allowed during tiger census

TNN, 6 January 2010, 05:30am IST

NAGPUR: The forest department has geared up for the exercise (2009-10) to collect data to estimate tigers, co-predators, prey and their habitat. The exercise is conducted once in four years in the state.

In one of the biggest training and sensitisation programmes on the revised methodology of line transect method which started on Tuesday, at least 90 officials including IFS officials, divisional forest officers (DFOs), assistant conservators (ACFs), range forest officers (RFOs), foresters and guards were sensitised. Most of the field staff was from Nagpur Territorial Circle comprising Wardha, Gondia, Bhandara and Nagpur Divisions.

The presentation on new tiger estimation technique was made by Mohan Jha, field director of Pench National Park and Tiger Reserve, while how to lay transects, identification of grass, biotic interference, collection of data and other aspects were explained by assistant conservator forests (ACFs) Kishore Mishrikotkar and G K Vashisht. On January 6, practical training of field staff on how to collect data will be held in Hingna Forest Range, near Nagpur.

Meanwhile, the department has decided to seek help of wildlife buffs and physically fit volunteers and NGOs. Only interested individuals will be allowed to take part in the exercise to assist the forest staff. This aspect was missing from the scheduled programme announced earlier. Now the confusion has been cleared. The department will also take support from botanists who can be helpful in identifying plant and tree species.

Alok Kumar Joshi, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife), Maharashtra, has already issued a programme on December 31 to all the territorial and wildlife circles in the state.

According to the programme released by the PCCF, two-day training and sensitisation of deputy conservators (DyCFs) and assistant conservators (ACFs) has to be done by January 8 and for range forest officers (RFOs), round officers and forest guards it is January 15. Drawing of line transects in every beat will be taken up from January 15 to 20, and actual exercise will start from January 27.

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