To conclude on May 19
Mysuru: The Forest Department began the elephant census at Bandipur and Nagarahole Reserve Forests this morning.
In Bandipur, around 100 Forest Department personnel along with 130 volunteers from across the State who have enrolled themselves as enumerators, began the census at about 6.30 am, which will go on till 3.30 pm.
Every beat out of the 113 beats has been identified as a block comprising 6 to 8 km area for the jumbo census, said T. Heeralal, Conservator of Forests and Director of Project Tiger in Bandipur.
Yesterday (May 16), the volunteers were divided into groups and were allotted blocks where census has to be carried out and sensitised about the procedures to be followed and necessary suggestions given to them, at the Forest office. The enumerators will have to take count of the elephants they spot in their respective blocks on the basis of age and gender.
The enumerators will stay overnight in the camp set up by the Forest Department and precautionary measures have been taken for the smooth conduct of the census. Food, water and medicines have been kept ready and ambulances stationed at several points to handle emergencies.
On May 18, the enumerators would spot the elephants based on the dung found in the region.
On May 19, they will wait near water holes and keep count of the jumbos visiting the spot for drinking water.
On May 20, the details would be collected from the volunteers. All the details would be analysed by National Tiger Conservation Authority, New Delhi, which would finally announce the count.
According to Heeralal, Global Positioning System (GPS) is being used for the census this time and the statistics available will be almost precise and added that efforts are being made to find the exact number of male and female jumbos in the region.
There were 1,600 to 1,700 elephants in the region during the last census, he said.
In Nagarahole Reserve Forest,150 volunteers with about 500 Forest Department personnel are conducting the census today for which 176 beats have been identified.
The volunteers will stay overnight in the Anti-Poaching camp and resume the census the next day, said Conservator of Forests Manikantan. The census will conclude on May 19.