Tiger pug mark survey begins in Sariska

At least 150 people will be involved in the fortnight-long exercise at Sariska. The Ranthambore census will see 600 people, including staff, forest guards, NGOs and wildlife lovers. The census at both parks will be conducted in stages. Pug marks will be counted first followed by transit line survey for verification of herbivores and vegetative survey and finally water hole census, said a forest official.

In Sariska, the pug mark count is being held from May 5 to 11, followed by the transit line survey from May 12 to 16 and the water hole census on May 17 and 18. At Ranthambore, the pug mark census is being done from May 7 to 16; the transit line survey will be from May 9 to 12 while the water hole survey will be held on May 17 and 18. During this time, the timings for visitors to the park have been changed while on May 17 and 18 both the parks will remain closed.

Meanwhile, wild life activists criticised the pug mark survey. “What is the use of carrying out the pug mark census when we know that it gives false data? Everyone knows that there are five tigers at Sariska so why carry out the pugmark census at all,” he asked. However, the water hole census has found favour with the activists as it gives details on other animals.

Forest officials, however, begged to differ. “There are other cat species like leopards in Sariska and the pug mark census can give an insight into it,” said an official. In Ranthambore, the pug mark process will be done along with trap cameras, he said.

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