Tiger census begins in Neora valley
Statesman News Service
JALPAIGURI, Sept.15: Primary work for tiger enumeration began at the Neora Valley National park today.
Speaking on the subject, the DFO wild life, Jalpaiguri division Mr Tapas Das said: “This year, a special pre-enumeration system called pugmark impression pads (PIP) would be used to make the tiger count more accurate.”
By the system, the forest officials would first locate the tigers’ travelling zones. “Normally Royal Bengal Tigers prefer to walk along the open areas of the forests. After locating the areas we would dig loosen the soil to take the pug impressions more accurately. The same process would be applied to the riverbanks and the salt licks normally frequented by the tigers. The pugmarks would have to be collected regularly for accuracy. The PIP programme started today and would continue for the next two months,” the forester, said.
The actual census of tigers at Neora Valley would start in November. “We have proposed to the higher authority to hold the enumeration between 1 to 15 November,” Mr Das added.
The forest department is keen to arrange the programme early this year as snow fall and the cover of dry leaves in the winter makes it difficult to collect pugmarks. “Moreover, tigers wander off to the Pangolaka Sanctuary in Bhutan adjacent to the Neora Valley Park, which could upset the census,” the DFO added.
The department would also for the first time use trap cameras to enumerate tigers this year.