For the first time, India, Nepal and Bangladesh will be conducting the 2018 tiger census in close coordination in their respective territories at the same time. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), which is responsible for conducting the exercise in India, has proposed major changes including uniformity in counting of big cats in all tiger reserves, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in the country at the same time.
This will also be the first time when field directors, divisional forest officers and range officers from Uttar Pradesh (UP), Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh (HP) will be given expert training for the census in all six forest zones of the country in the second week of November. The census will be held under the supervision of NTCA and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII).
Talking to TOI, NTCA additional inspector general Vaibhav Mathur said, “Both Nepal and Bangladesh have shown interest in holding tiger census in sync with us. That’s because some of their forest regions adjoin Indian territories. This is a welcome development as it will strengthen ties between the neighboring countries and will also help in conserving tiger population.
When asked about the special training programme, Mathur said, “Earlier, the training was planned from November 8, but it is now expected to start from November 15. It will be a three-day exercise that will be organized in all six forest zones of India.”
Sunil Chaudhary, field director, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve in UP, said that he is yet to receive the concerned guidelines. “All necessary arrangements will be made for the training session here,” he said.
VK Singh, conservator of forest, Bareilly circle said the first phase of tiger census will be completed by December end. “The second phase, which involves habitat characterization with the help of statistical and satellite data, will be over by January. The final phase, which involves computation of tiger density and installation of camera traps, will go on from February to October next year,” he said. (Times of India)