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Pre-monsoon animal census begins in Anamalai Tiger Reserve- Mrit News

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The 8-day exercise will assess the carnivore and herbivore population and their habitats

The 8-day exercise will assess the carnivore and herbivore population and their habitats

The pre-monsoon animal census started in Pollachi Forest Division of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) on Tuesday. 

The eight-day exercise known as ‘Phase I’ monitoring as per the protocols of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) will assess the carnivore and herbivore population apart from the quality of their habitats.

 An orientation session was held for the Forest Department staff at the Advanced Wildlife Management Training Centre, Attakatty, on Tuesday. Firefly expert Sriram Murali briefed the staff about firefly habitats in ATR.

 The three-day block counting started on Wednesday following which transect line counting will be held for another three days. The field staff will submit their census data on May 31.

 M.G. Ganesan, Deputy Director of ATR (Pollachi Division), said that around 250 staff were involved in the exercise which would cover 32 forest beats in four forest ranges, namely Ulandy, Pollachi, Valparai and Manambolly. There are 62 transect lines covering 11 different types of forests and four to five persons will carry out the survey on each line, he said.

“Apart from recording carnivores and herbivores through direct sighting and indirect sighting (identification of dung, pug marks, scat, scratch marks on trees, etc.), the staff have been instructed to carry out a detailed survey covering insects, amphibians, reptiles, etc.,” he said. 

The field staff would use ‘M-STrIPES’ (Monitoring System for Tiger-Intensive Protection and Ecological Status) app developed by the NTCA in association with the Wildlife Institute of India (WIl) for the estimation. The census data would be submitted to the WII for detailed analysis. 

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