Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary of Odisha records higher prey density
Last year, the division had launched ‘Debrigarh 48’ initiative to prevent villagers from harming the wildlife and collect intelligence from the periphery landscape through them.
SAMBALPUR: Following the pre-monsoon sign survey in the Debrigarh Widlife Sanctuary, a herbivore or prey density of 46 animals per sq km was recorded in the sanctuary here. Moreover, for the first time in last many decades, a tiger has also been sighted in Debrigarh during Census.
Reportedly, the sign survey was conducted by the Hirakud Wildlife Division from May 29 to June 3. While 40-60 animals per sq.km. reflects a healthy habitat, last year, the density was between 29-38 prey per square kilometre. With an increase up to 46 animals per sq km this year, the density of spotted deer population was found to be highest, that is, 90 per sq km Wildboar, bison, sambar and chowsingha were among other highest density species.
Similarly, more than 1,099 carnivore signs were recorded in the sanctuary this year with bear and leopard in highest numbers besides a tiger has been recorded, presence of which was confirmed around 7-8 months back. Compared to last year, the number of leopards has gone up from 70 to 82.PCCF (Wildlife) SK Popli said, “Due to participation of local community in the wildlife conservation and hard work by frontline staff, we have achieved encouraging results.”
Due to the presence of the tiger, the wildlife division has strengthened measures to protect the wildlife within the sanctuary. As many as 12 teams are monitoring tiger 24/7 with three operational control rooms. The mobile numbers of all control rooms have been displayed in all villages adjoining the sanctuary.
Last year, the division had launched ‘Debrigarh 48’ initiative to prevent villagers from harming the wildlife and collect intelligence from the periphery landscape through them. Currently, on priority basis regular meetings and informer networking are being carried out in the 48 villages SHG groups and EDC groups are sensitised for tiger conservation and number of fire points could be controlled by cooperation and support of villagers.
Divisional forest officer (DFO), Widllife, Anshu Pragyan Das said, “Mobile patrolling vehicles are covering the periphery of the sanctuary daily from evening 4 pm to next day morning 6 am with sufficient squads and team leaders.
After relocation of 400 families of four villages from Debrigarh sanctuary more space of around 500 Ha has been created for wild animals inside sanctuary which has minimised wildlife depredation and reduced man-animal conflict, Das added.