The Forest Department will take the help of the Anti-Naxal Force (ANF) during the upcoming tiger census in three districts.
The week-long tiger census, held once in four years, would start from December 17. Since Naxals are said to be active in Kudremukh Tiger Reserve in Chikmagalur district and some parts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts, the department had requested the ANF to provide security to enumerators of the tiger census.
“Divisional forest officials of the three districts are in touch with ANF officials in this regard,” Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Ajay Mishra said. He said the department has categorised these three districts as ‘highly sensitive’ following the reports of movements of Naxals.
ANF personnel would accompany the forest staff inside deep forests. Considering the risk, divisional forest officials were instructed not to use volunteers in the census in all the six tiger reserves across the State.
More than 700 volunteers have registered online and local forest officials have been asked to take those volunteers on need basis.
Mishra said the department’s elephants are on standby and census officials would use them wherever the terrain is difficult |