Suryakant Jena

The head-count of Royal Bengal Tigers has commenced at the Similipal Tiger Reserve from today.

The enumeration exercise to ascertain the number of big cats habitating the reserve will be carried out in four stages spread over a period of seven days.

The first phase of the quadrennial tiger census is being conducted in 55 beats under the Karanjia Forest Division. Similarly, 70 beats of the north wildlife division under the supervision of Deputy Director Similipal Tiger Reserve, Sai Kiran will also see the tiger census.

More than 500 trap cameras have been installed at specific locations inside the tiger reserve for the census exercise using new technology inside core and buffer areas of the reserve.

Similipal along with the Satkosia are the two most known habitats of the Bengal tigers in Odisha.

As per the fourth survey of the All India Tiger Estimation (AITE) conducted in 2018-19 the number of tigers has remained unchanged at 28 in Odisha from 2014-2018.

Assistant Conservator of Forests Phalguni Behera said the first step carried out today with the initiation of the All India Tiger Estimation 2021 was 5 km trail sign survey to basically spot carnivores, mega herbivores.

This time, the estimation process conducted through ecological app without any need for pen and paper was executed well enough by the forest staff, said Behera.