Thursday, May 6, 2010

Narendra Modi Interview – About Asiatic Lions Census Method at Sasan Gir National Park

Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modisaid the world should notice the scientific approach used in the lion census by Gujarat State this time. "Institutes should conduct a scientific study of this method and get it replicated in other wildlife censuses too," he added.

He said that, earlier, the census was carried out in a rather arbitrary manner, seeking input from passers-by about lion sightings and estimating their population on the basis of attacks made on other animals. But this time, the method used was technologically very robust.

According to the information given by the department, the special features of the latest census were the use of GIS, GPS and wireless technologies for effective coordination. Proper documentation was done for each observation. Through direct sighting, the animals were identified by distinct body-marks.

Each team involved in the census was to record these body-marks and other details such as time of the sighting, to and fro directional movement, etc, on a form prepared by the forest department. Digital pictures were also taken for the records.

Summer is the best time to conduct this exercise as the number of water resources gets restricted. Lions and other wild animals need to drink at least once in 24 hours. This makes it comparatively easy to decide the places in the jungle where the animals could collect.

The available water sources and probable places where the lions could visit were surveyed during the forest department's nine-month-long pre-census exercise.

"Long ranging animals like lions are not confined to man-made ecological boundaries. Keeping this in mind, a beat was decided as the smallest geographical unit inside the Gir protected area and a village was taken as the smallest unit outside Gir Jungle," chief wildlife warden RV Asari said.

The exercise to record the numbers and movement of the lions had begun nine months back. Based on the observations made during this period, 641 probable sites were identified where the chances of finding the lions were the highest. Also, data of the hunts of the last 10 years were analyzed. Gir National Park and the adjoining areas were divided into seven regions, 28 zones, and 100 sub-zones for the census.

At the last count, 135 officers, 450 enumerators, 900 assistants, 134 volunteers, 49 photographers, 13 doctors and 12 researchers were part of the census team.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts