It is based on ‘direct-transect count’ methodology

A two-day census operation to enumerate wildlife commenced at Point Calimere wildlife sanctuary to coincide with the all-India tiger census in tiger habitats across the country.

The census is being held in all protected areas and buffer zones to ascertain the species count from December 16 to 23.

“Here at Point Calimere, we are holding it for two days to know the count of herbivores. Jackal is the lone carnivore, and wild boar, the lone omnivore in the habitat,” says C. Meenakshi, District Forest Officer and Wildlife Warden.

Point Calimere sanctuary is the home to black bucks, its flagship species, along with feral pony, spotted deer, bonnet macaque, jackal, wild boar, mongoose, black-naped hare, and Indian star tortoise.

The census is based on ‘direct-transect count’ methodology where the vast expanse of the sanctuary is divided into 21 line transects. Each line transect will be covered by direct observation by the assigned team.

Division of labour

The teams are divided on random to cover all transects. Each transect is covered by a team of four members led by a forest department staff. Each team will cover three different transects to avoid arbitrary counting. “This way we can ensure that right numbers are arrived at and avoid duplication,” says Ms. Meenakshi.

The teams that set off on their tasks at 3 p.m. on Tuesday will cover the sanctuary stretched over 3,000 hectare till Wednesday. Students of A.V.C Arts and Science College, Mayiladuthurai, and Kumbakonam Government College form part of the team. Earlier, the students were given a day-long orientation training on data observation, measuring, and recording.