BENGALURU: The third day of the tiger estimation exercise in Karnataka on Wednesay came as a shot in the arms for census staffers and volunteers. On this day as many as 12 tigers were sighted -- six in Bandipur, four in Nagarhole and two in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple (BRT).
In fact, there were major sightings in south interior parts of the state during the Carnivore and Mega Herbivore survey in the tiger reserves. The All India Tiger Census-2018 started on Monday with high hopes of Karnataka retaining the status of having the highest population of tigers in the country. In the last census, the count was 406 with Bandipur-Nagarhole having more than 60 per cent of the population.
The Forest Department said there was major sightings of tigers on Wednesday with recording of six tigers in in Bandipur, in the the ranges of Kundukere, Bandipur, Moliyur, Maddur and N Begur. Further, in Nagarhole, two tigers were sighted in Hindi, one each in DB Kuppe and Antarsanthe. Two leopards were sighted in Moliyur and Moolehole and three wild dogs (Dhole) at Gundre.
As many as 52 elephants were sighted in the wildlife ranges of Kundukere (9), GS Betta (7), Moolehole (2), Maddur (12), Omkar (2), Moliyur (3) and Gundre (17). According to Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) and Nodal Officer for AITE-2018 Manoj Kumar, two tigers were sighted directly in BRT Tiger Reserve. Apart from tiger and leopard sightings, wild dogs, gaurs and elephants were sighted and recorded in various ranges. In Maddur range alone, 10 Indian Gaurs were recorded.
Speaking to Express, BRT Tiger Reserve DCF Dr Shankar said, “Two tigers were directly seen - one female with two cubs in BR Hills, Yelandur Range, and another in K Guddi range. There has been indirect evidence of leopards too.”