BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha government will kick start the much-awaited tiger census from February 5.
The six-day enumeration, which has been planned as a riposte to last year’s tiger census by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), will be held across forest divisions of the state.
The NTCA enumeration had shown that tiger population has decreased from 32 in 2010 (and 45 in 2006) to 28 in 2014 in Odisha.
The wildlife wing of the state government refuted the claim of NTCA and decided to conduct its enumeration.
While the focus of the census operation would be Similipal and Satkosia, the two notified tiger reserves (TRs) in the state, the Wildlife Wing will take into account all divisions during the enumeration.
It is specifically counting on tiger habitats located outside the TRs where tiger signs have been recorded in recent months.
Chief Wildlife Warden SS Srivastava said, “Since we will conduct the tiger census across the state, we have already trained staff from each division,”.
In November, 172 officers and field staff from across the divisions were imparted a general exposure module at Similipal.
As per the schedule, the year starts with crocodile census at Satkosia, Rajnagar, Ghodahad and Similipal. While the operation will start simultaneously on January 8, the four regions have been allocated different windows.
At Rajnagar, it will continue till January 17 whereas, in Satkosia, the enumeration will be held from January 8 to 13. At Ghodahad, it will be held over a three-day period whereas in Similipal, the exercise will take two days, said sources.
It will be followed by bird census on January 10 at Hirakud, Rajnagar and Chilika on the same day.
While the tiger census will be held from February 5 to 10, dolphin census across coastal divisions will be conducted on February 12.
For the first time, dolphin census was held in the state last year.