Hyderabad: The first tiger census in Telangana state will be held from January 22 to 29. Although this is the fourth tiger census since 2006, it will be the first since the bifurcation of the state. According to statistics released by the forest department, despite hurdles in environmental sustainability, the tiger population has been growing at 6 per cent annually which can be further increased by undertaking necessary steps.
The forest department is recruiting volunteers, including students, to join the week-long census. Wildlife OSD A. Shankaran said, “We have too many beats in the forest area and are short of staff. Therefore we need volunteers to help us, which will be a wonderful experience for them too. The census will be conducted in Kawal and Amrabad Tiger reserves and also wildlife sanctuaries of Pocharam, Eturnagaram and others.”
Dr Manoranjan Bhanja, PCCF, said, “A lot of villagers set up electric wires to prevent wild boars from entering agricultural land.”“However, a tiger was recently got entangled in it and got killed. We cannot afford such recklessness. Security measures have been tightened around tiger reserves,” Dr Manoranjan said.
Officials in charge of the census have been asked to log footprints of each wild animal to help recognition of the species and the area it is found for future benefits.The Telangana forest department is also taking measures to ensure against forest fires in 2018. Fires usually occur between January and May and are mostly caused by human error, officials said.
Chief forest officer P. K. Venkataraman said, “Officials will have to look into past causes of fire and ensure that they do not recur.” “Villagers set forests on fire to encourage growth of new grass for cattle, which makes detection of the origin of fire – whether it was accidental or manmade – difficult. But this is an offence,” he added. The problem areas have been identified as Adilabad, Khammam and Warangal where officials will keep a strict vigil....