Jumbo census to begin on May 15

Jumbo census to begin on May 15

Jumbo census to begin on May 15

The Forest Department along with the science community is making final preparations for the crucial three-day census set to begin on May 15.

Scientists are training Forest officials, who in turn will be training the volunteers and the forest staff to conduct the census. The synchronised census will begin at three elephant reserves of Mysore, Wayanad and Nilgiri reserves.

“All the places in the State like Chamarajanagara, Kodagu, Hassan, parts of Dakshina Kannada, Chikmagalur and Bannerghatta, and parts of Uttara Kannada will be covered,” official sources in the Forest Department said.

Explaining the mode of census, a scientist from Asian Nature Conservation Foundation (ANCF) said the forest will be divided into blocks and will be estimated in three methods.
“The elephants will be counted in these blocks and the density will be estimated. The total number of elephants will be calculated by taking into consideration the elephant density and comparing it with the extent of its habitat through the count, line transect and water hole count,” said Dr N Baskaran, Scientist, ANCF.

Census method

The ‘line transect sampling of dung,' to analyse factors like dung density and dung decay rate will be another method. The waterhole-count will not only help ascertain the number of elephants and formulate plans to manage the protected areas, but is also aimed at addressing the man-animal conflict in these region. It also helps the department understand male-female ratio and arrive to arrive at conservation strategy of the endangered animal.

Though the field work will be completed by the volunteers and Forest Department, the science community will be compiling the findings. As per the census 2007, the State has an estimated 4,500 elephants in Bandipur, Nagarhole and BR Temple Wildlife Sanctuary (BRTWLS) grabbing top three slots.