Gujarat Forest Department to conduct census of Asiatic lions at Gir

Gujarat Forest Department to conduct census of Asiatic lions at Gir

The Gujarat Forest Department has said that its officials will conduct a five-day enumeration of Asiatic lions in the Gir sanctuary in Gujarat. The census is administrated each 5 years in order to determine the number of wild beasts in the sanctuary. The census started on weekday andwill continue till May 5 in five districts of the state within the sanctuary and around the area.

There have been 411 lions living within the sanctuary, according to last census in 2010 compared to 359 lions counted in 2005. A total of about 2,500 people including wildlife experts from the country's leading universities will participate in the census this year. The group will include 600 units of enumerators. The experts are planning to use technology like GIS, GPS, digital cameras, camera traps this year in order to record correct estimation and to avoid overlapping.

These technologies will facilitate recording of distinctive identification marks like scars on face, colour, form of ears and tuft of hair on tail of each lion. The counting exercise will continue till 5 May, 2015 and the final numbers will be published by 10 May, 2015.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forest C. N. Pandey said, "The census will take note of the pride and individual animals. This will reduce chances of overlapping, because if the adjoining group spots the same lion, then it would be easy to differentiate the animal on the basis of its pride. The teams have reached there and are engaged in a pre-survey exercise. The first team will conduct the 24-hour counting on May 2 and return on May 3. While on May 4, another team will conduct the census exercise up to May 5. The final figure is likely to be announced on May 10."


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