State tiger count from January 15

State tiger count from January 15

Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN 26 November 2009, 05:08am

NAGPUR: The actual exercise to count tigers, co-predators, prey and their habitat in protected and non-protected areas of the state for all India tiger estimation (2009-10) using the refined methodology (line transect method) is expected to start from January 15.

Alok Kumar Joshi, principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF), wildlife, Maharashtra, on Wednesday said a meeting of conservators of forests (CFs) from all circles has been called on December 5. All the officials will be intimated about the new methodology and a training schedule will be finalised.

“We expect to complete the training process by December-end. The training workshops will be held at circle level to build capacity of field personnel. The 10 officials and NGO representatives, who were trained on the new methodology at Ranthambore in October, will impart training to officials and field staff,” Joshi stressed.

Sources said in the first week of January, transects will be laid and field training protocol for primary and field data collection will be held. The actual exercise is expected to start from January 15. Joshi said collation and analysis will be coordinated by the WII in collaboration with outside experts, with guidance by a specially constituted core committee. The department has sought 9,000 field guides on dos and don’ts about the new method. “We have also asked for such field guides in Hindi language,” he added. On funds, he said Rs 90 lakh have been proposed for the entire exercise.

The all India tiger estimation will be a joint exercise with National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, NGOs, forest staff, and civil society institutions participating. The WII is going to provide funding support for holding workshops. Officials said the revised method will address an array of parameters related to the survival of tigers. The first line transect census was conducted in the state in January 2006. Last year, pugmark and water-hole census to count prey-predators and herbivores respectively was not done following directives from NTCA, which decided to abandon the old method after questions over its accuracy.

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