BENGALURU: The keenly awaited tiger census will be conducted from October, most probably after the monsoon season, and the data will be directly uploaded online to ensure minimal or zero error. That is not all. Karnataka will also take the lead among the southern states in data collection, assessment and assistance, as it houses the second largest tiger population in India.
As per the 2018 census report, of the 2,967 tigers in India, Karnataka was home to 524 tigers, slipping to second position, while Madhya Pradesh had 526. Karnataka had then added 112 tigers compared to the previous count.
For the upcoming census, training for the staffers and trainers will start from March, after which others will be trained. Like the previous exercise, the census will be conducted in tiger reserves and also other areas where tiger presence is reported. Volunteers will be roped in, just like previous occasions.
Data to be uploaded on NTCA portal
In case of border areas, the data will be shared to ensure there is no duplication and it will be sent to the Wildlife Institute of India for tabulation. To discuss the route map for the census and the plan ahead, a two-day long meeting of chief wildlife wardens of the southern zone tiger range states and field directors of tiger reserves was held on February 24-25 in Udhagamandalam, Tamil Nadu.
Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (wildlife) Subhash Malkhede, who represented Karnataka at the meeting, told The New Sunday Express that it was decided to have more online data entry and computing rather than offline.
He added that a proposal is being sent to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) seeking more smartphones, range finders, compasses and other equipment required for the census. The data collected will be directly uploaded on the NTCA portal, instead of first noting down on sheets and then uploading the data manually. The aim of the census will be to increase accuracy in data collection and assessment so that there is less deviation, and this was discussed at the meeting too, he said.