Quadrennial tiger census to begin from December 16th
By Shyam Sundar Vattam | ENS | Published: 23rd October 2013 08:29 AM |
A tiger census will be held across the state for eight days starting December 16.
Although it was scheduled to be held in November, it got postponed by a month owing to the winter session of the Legislature in Belgaum.
The All India Tiger Census is conducted once in four years. In Karnataka, it would be held from December 16-23, said Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) G S Prabhu.
He told Express that the census would be held in four stages, including angulations and vegetation mapping.
All the ground staff such as forest guards, watchers and range forest officers will be involved in the drive.
He said the response from volunteers for the census was overwhelming. Enthusiasts from across the country and also a few from abroad are keen to participate. Some 500-odd volunteers have emailed their requests to him. “We will randomly pick up the volunteers and post them to different forests across the state. The places where these volunteers will work will be decided by foresters. As of now, they have not put any restriction on the number of volunteers, but they have to be in the age group of 18-60 years and fit enough to survive in jungles under utmost unfriendly terrain,” he added.
Prabhu said no volunteer is allowed to carry cameras to take pictures of the census. “It will definitely not be a bed of roses, as they need to face all kinds of hostile conditions. No outside food is allowed and they have to eat whatever is prepared by forest guards daily. They have to sleep in tents or in machans.
Except for first-aid no medical emergency services are available for volunteers. Once they enter the forests on December 16, they will come out only after eight days. Volunteers need to trek at least 15 km daily inside the forest. So, only healthy people can enrol their names as volunteers,” he said.
The PCCF said those interested in volunteering can contact the local chief conservators of forests, who, in turn, forward applications to divisional forest officers. Subsequently, applications will be processed by them and sent to range forest officers who allot beats for volunteers.
However, it will be a once in lifetime opportunity as they will be part of the census held once in four years, and are allowed to walk inside forests which were otherwise prohibited for them.
Every volunteer has to give an undertaking in writing and has to abide by the regulations of the Forest Department.