100 cameras installed for leopard and sloth bear census
The Times of India City
AHMEDABAD: The much awaited three-day leopard and sloth bear census will begin from Friday. The first round of the count will begin from Friday morning. Interestingly the forest department has used around 100 odd cameras to record the movement of sloth bear and leopard.
Officials in the forest department said "this year we have restricted the flow of volunteers and NGOs in Gir and nearby areas. Only local residents from Junagadh, Gir-Somnath and Amreli will be given the change to be a part of the leopard census in Gir Sanctuary and nearby areas. The decision to include locals was taken as those going from Ahmedabad, Vadodara and other parts of the state were more interested in their personal photography then the movement of the animal."
The officials said that of the 100 odd cameras which have been installed, 50 are in Gir sanctuary and around 10 cameras each are installed in sanctuaries of Jambughoda, Ratanmahal, Soolpaneshwar, Balaram-Ambaji and Jessore. The officials said apart from the camera trap the volunteers and forest officials will be keeping an eye on every movement of the animals.
Officials further said that the leopard census is divided into three categories, one would be in the sanctuaries, the second one would be in the protected area and third area will be in the revenue areas which included the outskirts of the cities where there were greenery or ravines.
The officials said the sloth bear census will be completely covered under the camera as the entire habitat of the sloth bear is covered with cameras.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (wildlife) JA Khan said that around 6000 odd forest official will be on the move for three days. Apart from the forest officials there would be former forest officials, volunteers and NGOs will be taking part in the census which will be conducted across the state.