Thursday, April 30, 2015

For the first time, camera traps set for lion census.

AHMEDABAD: The forest department will be using, apart from human eyes, electronic surveillance for the lion census which will kick off from May 2. The census will cover nearly 2500 sq km and, for the first time, electronic eyes will keep a record of operations at 80 sites situated in difficult terrain.

The 'camera trap' method, which was successfully implemented during the tiger census in the country, will be used on an experimental basis in the lion census. Entire teams of researchers from Gujarat forest department, department of wildlife sciences, Aligarh Muslim University, and experts from the Wildlife Institute of India have already started installing these cameras.

Census in-charge Sandeep Kumar said these cameras will be installed in areas that are hilly in nature and in difficult terrains which are not generally considered hospitable for the Asiatic lions. "These 'camera traps' will be operation from April 20. They will be monitored live round-the-clock by experts from the control room that has been set up at Sasan. Monitoring of these areas for 10 days before the census will help the department find out about the movement of the animal in the area and also their number. Finally, on the day of the counting, trackers will be sent to the spot to take location and digital photographs," said Kumar.

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