Similipal: The four-yearly counting of Royal Bengal tigers at Similipal Biosphere Reserve in Mayurbhanj district started Friday. The census will be conducted in four phases for the next seven days.
A senior forest official said that the first phase of quadrennial tiger census will be conducted in 55 beats under Karanjia forest division and 70 beats of the North wildlife division. The massive enumeration drive to ascertain the number of big cat inhabitation in the reserve will be led by Sai Kiran, deputy director of Similipal Tiger Reserve.
“More than 500 camera traps have been installed at specific locations inside the tiger reserve for the census. We are also using advanced technology inside the core and buffer areas,” the official stated.
“Similipal and Satkosia Tiger Reserves are the well known habitats of Royal Bengal tigers in Odisha. As per the fourth survey of All India Tiger Estimation (AITE) carried out during FY 2018-19, the total number of tigers remained unchanged at 28 in Odisha starting from 2014 to 2018. The first step taken today was the initiation of AITE-2021 and five kilometre trail sign survey to spot the big cats,” informed Falguni Behera, Karanjia Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF).
The tiger counting is being conducted this time through an ecological app without any use of pen and paper, the ACF Behera added.
Worthy to note that tiger census is, usually, conducted once in every four years. As per the 2018 census, there were a total of 28 tigers in the two tiger reserve projects in Similipal and Satkosia of Odisha.