Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lion census in Gir sanctuary from April 24

Lion census in Gir sanctuary from April 24
Times of India

Gujarat state forest department is getting ready for lion census to be conducted from April 24 next month in Gir sanctuary in Junagadh district.

Nearly 1,500 officials will be deployed for the exercise, conducted every five years for
a headcount of Asiatic lions at Gir, sources from the department said. The officials have been given special training for the perfect headcount of lions, sources said, adding that the department will have photograph of each and every lion to make sure of perfect headcount.

The four-day census will begin from April 24, in which first two days will be of primary headcount and final headcount will take place in last two days sources said, adding that GIS (geographical information system) will be used this time in the census. National Park District Forest Officer (DFO) Sandip Kumar said nearly 1,500 officials will be working in which 900 assistant, 100 subzonal officials, 28 zonal officials and region officers and observers will be performing duty in the census. The final report will be submitted to the chief minister, who will disclose the exact figure of the lions in Gir sanctuary, sources said.

In last census, 359 lions were reported at the sanctuary, but after that a number of beast were killed by poachers while many succumbed to injuries after falling down in open wells in the forest of Gir.

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