Tiger Census in Odisha from tomorrow

Bhubaneswar: The week-long annual Tiger census in Odisha will be undertaken in all forest divisions from tomorrow, informed Secretary, Forest and Environment, Suresh Mohapatra on Thursday.

Official sources said, nearly 900 cameras will be installed at several forest divisions to count tiger population using the camera trap and other indirect evidence methods like pug identification methods.

The State government is hopeful that there will be a rise in the number of tigers given the evidence regarding presence of big cats found in Chahala near Similipal. Apart from tigers, leopards and other animals of the big cat family will also be covered under the census process.

For the first time, the authorities are trying to conduct the census in Sunabeda sanctuary in Maoist affected Nuapada district keeping in view the presence of security forces in the region.

“Forest officials have been given adequate training from Kanha National Park and it will be a big exercise which will be carried out in all forest divisions for a week,” said Mohapatra.

All the data will be sent to Government of India and then the exact number of tigers will be known, sources said.

Mohapatra also informed that the number of dolphins in Odisha has also gone up.

As per the latest census, Chilika lake has registered presence of 162 dolphins while the Gahirmatha in Bhitarakanika National Park has 307, he added.